HIS LOVE

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

Hebrews 12:1,2

I spent last night in my Bible studying Hebrews 12:1-13 which is entitled, “God’s Discipline Proves His Love.” Of course this caused me a fair amount of anxiety because I had just posted, “Fiery Lake,” yesterday. I thought I had my immediate course all figured out. He does keep me on my toes!

The interpretation to Hebrews 12:1 (NLT) says this:

Their (huge crowd of witnesses)  faithfulness is a constant encouragement to us. We do not struggle alone, and we are not the first to struggle with the problems we face. Others have run the race and won and their witness stirs us to run and win also. What an inspiring heritage we have!

This morning the Holy Spirit woke me at 4 AM. I felt as if I should get up, make my coffee, and spend time in my Bible.That was my plan anyway. I did climb out of bed but I made it as far as the kettle but then quickly (without even thinking) detoured to the dining room table. This is where my stash of chocolate was strewn about. All sorts of little gems…Milky Way, Twix, and Snickers. For the past few days, I’ve done nothing but mindlessly shovel these in. I instantly grabbed them and chucked them into the garbage. I felt somewhat sad and thought to myself:

“What if I need these later today?”

What a ridiculous thought but it is true! When has chocolate been a help? I can’t seem to recall a time that I felt saved by it’s sweet taste. Maybe the initial bite is “heaven sent” but it’s only a mirage, instant gratification.

The second part (Interpretation) of Hebrews 12:1 says this:

Long-distance runners work hard to build endurance and strength. On race day, their clothes are light-weight and their bodies lean. To run the race that God has set before us, we must also strip off the excess weight that slows us down. How can we do that?

Hebrews goes on to suggest the following:

Choose friends who are also committed to the race. Wrong friends will have values and activities that may deter you from the course. Much of your own weight may result from the crowd you run with.

Drop certain activities.

Get help for addictions that DISABLE you. If you have a secret “weight” such as pornography, gambling, or alcohol, admit your need for help and get help today.

Nowhere does it mention food! I’m thinking to myself:

“I’m not addicted to sugar? Am I? How preposterous!!”

After much thought, I realized that it is true. After an indulgence, I am disabled. This is an extra weight, not only physically and mentally but spiritually. This makes me sad for two reasons. First, I’m sad because I love sweets and moderation is pretty much impossible. Sugar is an all or nothing event!  Second, I thought from yesterday’s post that I had “food” figured out. Evidently not, because Someone faithfully woke me this morning and told me to throw it all out!

Moving on to Hebrews 12:1-4:

The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up whatever ENDANGERS our relationship with God, to run with endurance, and to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To live effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We will stumble if we look away from Him to stare at ourselves or at the circumstances surrounding us. We should be running for Christ, not ourselves, and we must always keep Him in sight.

When we face hardship and discouragement, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. But we’re not alone; there is help.

There is no way that I could have run any race last night. I barely made it to the bathroom to brush my teeth and get ready for bed! I was discouraged and I did lose sight of the big picture. I did, however, ask for help. He faithfully sat beside me and walked me through Hebrews 5. I feel   a great need to share God’s wisdom with you. It also reiterates to me the gift that I received before I turned my light out last night.

We are coming to a close! I know it’s a tremendous amount of divine information, so hang in with me. Let’s look at Hebrews 12:5-13

When God corrects you, see it as proof of His love, and ask Him what He is trying to teach you.

God is not only a disciplining parent but also a demanding coach who pushes us to our limits and requires our lives to be disciplined. Although, we may not feel strong enough to push on to victory we will be able to accomplish it as we follow Christ and draw on His strength.

This part is important and it’s His last point:

Then we can use our growing strength to help those around us who are weak and struggling.

We must not live with only our own survival in mind. Others will follow our example, and we have a responsibility to them if we are living for Christ, as we claim to be. Does your example make it easier for others to believe in and follow Christ, and to mature in Him? Or would those who follow you end up confused and misled?

If we went by my performance this past week or so, people would be wildly confused! I imagine my own confusion is showing up in my posts but that is the beauty and strength of God. We all take wrong turns. We all get involved in things that aren’t in our best interests. The Love of God is always available. And since His love is so great for us, He will continually redirect and move us to where He needs us to be. I like this! Give me the control and all hell breaks loose! It is good to give Him the control. He will never lead us astray!!

Merry Christmas and Peace be with You!!

***

I dedicate this post to M.B. for gifting me with a Life Application Study Bible back in 2006. I thank you for your faithful friendship. You are my sister in Christ and I pray the Lord blesses you beyond your wildest imagination! I love you!!

 

6 thoughts on “HIS LOVE

  1. Morgan December 24, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    I love how open you are in your posts…it helps to know we are all “in it” together 😉

    I keep reminding myself that being led by the spirit is so much more exciting than life otherwise…even if it means chucking the chocolate!! 🙂

    Like

    • Racinda Chave December 26, 2017 / 11:36 pm

      It feels great to be open! I’ve lived an extremely closed life and now it’s time to step outside the walls I’ve put up and share His Love! There is much work to be done but this is a great start…Praise God! Yes, I have to agree with you…it is exciting to be led by the spirit. It isn’t always easy but in the end we will all get there. And as Pastor Steven says…it’s not the destination, it’s the journey!

      Like

  2. Carl December 25, 2017 / 2:26 am

    Great post, you were very strong today too, I could feel it!

    Like

  3. Joyce J December 28, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    I’m loving your posts! They speak to me in so many different ways! This in particular spoke out to me from this one:

    “Choose friends who are also committed to the race. Wrong friends will have values and activities that may deter you from the course. Much of your own weight may result from the crowd you run with.”

    I had this issue while in middle and high school. I would try and fit in with people who I clearly was not in tune with. I’ve even experienced verbal/emotional bullying. I had to break away from them and ended up more or less talking with my teachers and spending time in the library with other students. Honestly, I felt a lot better! It wasn’t until 11th-12th grade when I became a bit more social with others outside of my “circle”, but I was now more aware of who to hang out with and set standards for myself.

    I’m still dealing with this as a 31 y/o adult as well because now I’m extremely careful about who I let in my life, and that resulted/can result in closing off people who could have turned out to be good friends in the long run. But it’s also been a helpful guard in quickly filtering out people who mean me no good.

    I’ve also learned that, unfortunately, many of these “wrong friends” can also be family members. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of a situation where someone is doing inappropriate things since you have to live with them, and it makes the situation more difficult. Especially if they refuse to acknowledge the issue and/or seek help.

    I know many of these things can deter you from having a positive relationship with God, and with yourself. But I am hopeful and thankful that I am not alone in feeling this way and constantly seek out those (family, friends, others) and resources that push me towards having a better relationship with God.

    Keep writing, Racinda! Many of us feel the same way as you do and are greatly encouraged by your words!

    GOD BLESS YOU! ❤

    Like

    • Racinda Chave December 28, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Thank you Joyce! I appreciate your encouragement. It has been challenging to write so openly thus far. The devil keeps firing his darts of insignificance, discouragement, shame and self-doubt. I know the Lord is with me, faithfully and lovingly pushing me forward. The comments I have received are extremely valuable and they keep me writing. I relate to all that you’ve just said and I’m so thankful that Elevation has brought us together. I appreciate you and all that you’ve shared with me. God bless you too my friend!!

      Like

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