Run To God - Overcoming Fear with Intention - Purity 495
Purity 495 08/12/2021 Purity 495 Podcast
Today’s photo of a hiking trail going into mist shrouded pines comes to us from a friend who took a hike on the Perpetua Trail, near Yachats Oregon, in hopes of getting a glimpse of what is promised to be the best view of the Oregon Coast. As ghostly cool and mysterious as the mist blanketing the pines in this photo may be, it didn’t do much for the view of the Pacific that day near the end of July. But it did make the photos on the coast appear like you had reached the ends of the earth. To see what I mean check out the additional photos on mt4christ dot org.
Well it’s Thursday, and I share today’s photo to represent the mysterious path of Christian Discipleship that can start with a clear vision but whose upcoming destinations may tend to be shrouded in uncertainty. But I would encourage you that that this spiritual walk with Christ is always a journey that is worth taking.
I share photos of pathways or roads on Thursdays as a reminder that I will be teaching a discipleship class at Rock Solid Church this evening and to encourage my friends to take the spiritual path less traveled of living by faith and walking in the Spirit. This evening is the last class of our Bondage Breaker Series, and we will be taking a break from teaching until after Labor Day when we begin the “Freedom in Christ” course on September 9th, where I will act as a facilitator as the class will utilize materials from Freedom in Christ Ministries’ video teaching series.
The video presentation/discussion will be new format for me to walk through and I will be preparing to determine exactly what technology I will utilize to present it without any technical issues, being careful to prepare a contingency plan to a avoid any interruptions if plan A fails.
My preparation in the upcoming weeks is indicative of our lives of faith. No matter what plans we make to accomplish our goals in life, spiritual or otherwise, we must set our intention to be faithful to persist in doing what we said we would do, keeping our promises to ourselves, to others, or to God Himself, and to make contingency plans to overcome obstacles or changes in our circumstances.
Years ago, before Christ, I decided to get in shape and had determined that running was the way to do it. In fact to this day, a mantra that exists in my mind is “if you are serious about getting in shape, you have to run.” Although, I will state that I currently am approaching the best shape in my life and I haven’t incorporated running into my exercise regiment, so you don’t “have to” run necessarily.
The evidence for my sentiments about running’s results is apparent when you see someone out jogging or running. The people you see running all the time are usually not overweight. The people who persist in running are disciplined and make it a part of their lifestyle and commit themselves to run regardless of the weather or their location.
When I was in that short season of my life, I would run in the rain, in the snow, and in the highest heat. I would run near home, at work, on vacation, and on mission trips, once delighting in running through a village in Zambia to the surprise of the local citizens. On that run, I was absolutely euphoric over the simultaneous highs of running, being on a mission to do the Lord’s work, and the terror of possible sudden death and the fear of the unknown.
Have you ever seen the 1959 Elizabeth Taylor film; Suddenly Last Summer based on the Tennessee Williams play? I won’t spoil it, but it contains a cautionary tale for people traveling abroad.
So yeah regardless of weather, location, or possible danger, as a runner, you had to set your intention to run. Runners run, period.
Likewise in our decision to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, we have to set our intention to maintain a daily spiritual practice and to make the commitment to be faithful to it. As Christian disciples, we make a regular practice of prayer, Bible Study, gratitude, meditation, integrity, or service on a daily basis and we make contingency plans to stay faithful to it in all situations. Just like a runner is out of sorts from missing a run, we should be out of sorts if we miss the practices that maintain our communion with the Lord.
And there is the key, as disciples of Christ, we don’t develop a spiritual practice to “become better people” or to “get in shape, spiritually”, although those are possible benefits from spiritual practice. No, we develop a spiritual practice to interact with the Lord, to enjoy our fellowship with Him. Disciples don’t have a religion, a list of rules to adhere to. Disciples have a relationship with their teacher, who just happens to be the Lord God Almighty.
So take a step into those misty pines beyond the edge of the trail where you don’t necessarily know where you are going. Although we can’t see the end of our path, when we are walking towards the Lord we never have to fear because we are finally assured through our faith in Christ that we are going in the right direction and the only thing we need to do is trust Him to take us where He wants us to go and to be faithful to keep on walking.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2. It reminds you of your accepted position, gifts, identity, and security in Christ. Bravery is not the absence of fear but is rightfully handling our fears by putting them aside to function and accomplish our purposes.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing in Chapter 11.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:
See Your Past in the Light of Who You Are in Christ
How does God intend you to resolve past experiences? In two ways. First, understand that you are no longer a product of your past. You are a new creation in Christ: a product of Christ's work on the cross. You have the privilege of evaluating your past experience in the light of who you are today, as opposed to who you were then. The intensity of the primary emotion was established by how you perceived the event at the time it happened. People are not in bondage to past traumas. They are in bondage to the lies they believed about themselves, God and how to live as a result of the trauma. That is why truth sets you free.
As a Christian, you are literally a new creature in Christ. Old things, including the traumas of your past, "passed away" (2 Cor. 5:17). The old you in Adam is gone; the new you in Christ is here to stay. We have all been victimized, but whether we remain victims is up to us. Those primary emotions are rooted in the lies we believed in the past. Now we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds (see Romans 12:2). The flesh patterns are still imbedded in our minds when we become new creations in Christ, but we can crucify the flesh and choose to walk by the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-25).
Now that you are in Christ, you can look at those events from the perspective of who you are today. You may be struggling with the question "Where was God when all this was going on?" The omnipresent God was there and He sent His own Son to redeem you from your past. The truth is, He is in your life right now desiring to set you free from your past. That is the gospel, the good news that Christ has come to set the captives free. Perceiving those events from the perspective of your new identity in Christ is what starts the process of healing those damaged emotions.
One dear Christian missionary I know was struggling with her past because she discovered to her horror that her father was a practicing homosexual.
I asked her, "Knowing that about your father, how does that affect your heritage?"
She started to respond in reference to her natural heritage, but then stopped abruptly. She suddenly realized nothing had changed in her true heritage in Christ. Knowing this, she could face the problems of her earthly family without being emotionally devastated by them. She was relieved when she realized the degree of security she enjoyed in her relationship with God, her true Father. The resulting emotions reflected reality because what she believed about herself corresponded to truth.
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship