Getting into God’s Stride: from My Utmost (October 12th) for His Highest, Updated Edition
“Enoch walked with God …” (Genesis 5:24).
The true test of a person’s spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening. A person’s worth is revealed in his attitude toward the ordinary things of life when he is not under the spotlight (see John 1:35–37 and 3:30). It is painful work to get in step with God and to keep pace with Him—it means getting your second wind spiritually. In learning to walk with God, there is always the difficulty of getting into His stride, but once we have done so, the only characteristic that exhibits itself is the very life of God Himself. The individual person is merged into a personal oneness with God, and God’s stride and His power alone are exhibited.
It is difficult to get into stride with God, because as soon as we start walking with Him we find that His pace has surpassed us before we have even taken three steps. He has different ways of doing things, and we have to be trained and disciplined in His ways. It was said of Jesus—“He will not fail nor be discouraged …” (Isaiah 42:4) because He never worked from His own individual standpoint, but always worked from the standpoint of His Father. And we must learn to do the same. Spiritual truth is learned through the atmosphere that surrounds us, not through intellectual reasoning. It is God’s Spirit that changes the atmosphere of our way of looking at things, and then things begin to be possible which before were impossible. Getting into God’s stride means nothing less than oneness with Him. It takes a long time to get there, but keep at it. Don’t give up because the pain is intense right now—get on with it, and before long you will find that you have a new vision and a new purpose."
Of course, as a human, we tend to forget. . .
But God knew this, and gave us some neat verses to remind us: Among which is my favorite (though convicting) passagette in Hebrews:
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 hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. 3Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up. 4After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
5And have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his children? He said,
“My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you,
and don’t be discouraged when he corrects you.
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes those he accepts as his children.”
7As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Whoever heard of a child who was never disciplined? 8If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all. 9Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live forever?
10For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness. 11No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. 13Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong. - Hebrews 12:1-12 New Living Translation (I know, new wording! But sometimes it's good to see/hear/read the Old Words in a new voice....
In other words, tonight was good. Very good. A smaller group of people gathered at Rob and Connie's for the Therefore Bible Study, and overall it was very encouraging. The topic? Circumcision and confusing people, to start. Wherever His chosen gather, though, there is just ... something. What a gift, this fellowship: true fellowship is only able to happen when two or more people let God "in" on their conversation (in the Olde English "conversation" = way of life; and in the modern-day useage of "conversation" = discussion, talkin, et cetera.)
And the last little bit - though not so Little - of Galatians 2 is a great reminder that it's not Us who has to worry, who has to be good all the time, who has to do the Living.
If one can say, "I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. . . I am crucified with Christ,
Nevertheless I live (apparently a kindergärtner can spell this word because it is a compound word made from (at least) three (3) words!) ... it is Christ who lives in me, then
yet not I, BUT Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh i live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, & gave Himself for me...
And we worry. ...
God forbid that we should so easily cast Him aside from our meditations and ponderings.
Make our hearts clean, Abba, so we can carry Your Word in our souls more effectively.