Durable424. What’s that Mean?

20141018_103456

Some readers have asked me, “What do you mean by durable424?”

By durable I mean resilient, strong, enduring, true, able, remain, unrelenting, courageous, determined and faithful.

Let me be clear. There is a huge difference from being durable in spirit and being hardened in heart. (But that is another conversation.)

Whether you are an athlete slogging through long, torturous hours of training and sacrifice; or you are a parent suffering through long nights of anxiety over a wayward child, durability is one of your defining qualities.

A durable spirit is the key. Physical endurance and emotional toughness are secondary to a durable spirit. As a person of faith it is my experience that durability is possible, not by determination or will, but by faith. Determination requires grit and effort. This exhausts me. It wears me out leaving me feel like I can’t.

The human heart can suffer many things and continue to survive out of pure will. My goal is to walk with you through the pits and falls, hardships and fellowships that life brings. That you walk life out of an abundantly durable spirit, not as a survivor; rather as an overcomer! You have likely encountered more difficulty already than you had planned for. I would suggest by the shear fact you are still here reading deeper, that you are more durable than you have imagined.

What about 424? Every day, in 24 hour cycles, life calls us to new challenges. The truth is you are durable. In this moment. Not you in yourself, but you in Jesus Christ. He has made a way through faith for indestructible life to build new reality within you. Through the exchange personal identity is no longer based on parentage or ancestry, but on the nature of Christ in you. Every moment let the reality of that truth be present. Let that reality birth new responses to old challenges. Let the reality of Christ in you be your hope of glory and a better future.

The writer of the book of Hebrews (7:14-15) referring to Jesus’ power to overcome and endure states it to this affect- that a priest has appeared..

“…one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.” From the Greek the original means indestructible, indissoluble. The Message Bible refers to “the sheer force of resurrection life.”

This is Spirit and Life. The new nature is durable for every point of test or trial. For now. For 24. For 7. For 365.

Durable424 is a state of being.

  • It is worshiping when others worry.
  • It is praying when you’d rather pout.
  • It is staying connected when it’s inviting to leave.
  • It is trusting God for breakthrough when blaming, accusing and complaining is more popular.

Durable people trust and wait for God to speak or God to move first.

With Him, you can be durable.

Advertisements

Reality. Check.

Treadmill control 20150120

Reality.

I will be honest, I have been slacking in my exercise and fitness plans. Recently, I made some adjustments and have chosen to focus with renewed commitment and energy on returning to a “more fit me”. It didn’t take long to reveal the test results of just how unfit I really was. Shortness of breath. Very low endurance for the distance. Carrying a few saddle bags of weight. It left me feeling worn out, out of sorts and out of shape! That reality check about my physical condition caused a spin off question. Just how fit is my faith? My spiritual condition? I mean, it seems things are speeding up and pressing toward critical mass.

I am just a little past half time in my life. Like you, I have suffered my share of challenges, losses and difficulties. Like you, I have failed sometimes but, overcome most of the time. I will be quick to admit there were times when the heartache and pain were a more than I expected and sometimes unexpected. There were times when I wanted to give up. Stop. Quit. What’s the use? Let me just live my life in peace. Reality, now is the time to dial up faith, courage, desire and passion!

God’s answer to Jeremiah’s complaint comes to mind,
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” Jeremiah 12:5 NIV

The same words translated through The Message Bible are even more poignant, “So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses? And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when troubles break loose like the Jordan in flood?”

The writer of Hebrews sites a time of shaking will come that will shake all that can be shaken… [for what purpose?] to reveal the Kingdom that cannot be shaken (12:26-28).

Check.

The Scripture suggests that there will be a time when the race will be accelerated, as when the horses are released. There are times when a safe, orderly society will be less orderly and downright dangerous. Times when trouble breaks out and the enemy breaks in like a flood. What will be our response? Are we fit for the challenge? Will I be among the faithful who can endure?

If you are loving and believing God today I am so thankful and encouraged. I am encouraged because I know you have been made fit for this time. Jesus exerted great effort in order to save my soul. It is that effort that I rest in and labor from. He saved us from ourselves; from our tendencies toward failure, disobedience and weakness. We have been granted a new status before the King of the Universe. We are now partakers of His divine Nature for His Glory! On my own from my old nature I could not perform nor achieve. As a new creation in Christ, now I can! We were born for more than an ordinary life. We were born to go beyond, to live in that reality as an Over-comer!

Christ in you, the hope of Glory. Under any conditions. Reality. Check.

To Boldly Go…or Not.

To Boldly Go…or not?

 “…to boldly go where no man has gone before…” Notable words from Captain Kirk of Star Trek Enterprise. They summarize his team’s courageous mission. What would have been the story line in that epic movie had the mission been “to boldly stay?”

Like so many of us, I have felt the burning desire to go, and to get their first! To go, to be an innovator, a creator, discoverer, explorer, to carve new territory and claim achievement! To be the one to arrive with the big idea, the polished plan. But maybe we need to pause just a bit longer, to know the full intent of the our Creator God.

Consider with me the calling to “boldly stay”. Events and circumstance often develop like tectonic plates growing in tension until the breaking point. Feelings of uncertainty, confusion and change press us to the critical moment where we choose to go or to stay. I am confident that in more than a few of these times we opted for the route of “boldly going” when it was God’s best and His desire for us to “boldly stay”.

Does it require greater faith, does it mean greater risk and therefore appear more admirable to go? Or, is there greater risk and more courage required to stay? To stay through to the determined end? When God calls you to stay there are no other options. Those are times when bold faith and courage are needed to stay; to remain; to continue.

Truly, the Jesus’ command carries an all essential “Go”. Missionary expeditions of epic proportions will continue to be pushed out into the world for the sake of one soul and the purpose of the Kingdom. Yet, when the plan is in motion and while daily life rolls on, He speaks to you about you, and about His purpose in you. Remember the often overlooked words of Ruth who boldly told Naomi, ‘where you stay I will stay…’ Moses told the people when running seemed to be the better option, ‘stand still and see the salvation of the Lord…’ Joshua said, ‘as for me and my house…’ we aren’t going anywhere. Paul instructed the Galatians to ‘stand fast!’

There have been seasons in my life where I know that it was time to go. I knew in my gut it was time to move on to the next great thing God had for us. During these times it required courage of heart to act. Moving our young family across the states to unfamiliar places; traveling into Eastern Europe during the start of the Iraqi war. Each held the thrill of the challenge and each required an amount of courage to step into it.

Yet also, there have been other times when the greater part and the call of God demanded that I stay. I can still hear the calming voice of God over my own heart as it screamed in fear at those times. To stay when others would go requires greater courage and faith.

There is honor in seeing something to its proper end. When life gets rough and the going is not easy, why not consider the courage that it takes to boldly stay and see these things through? I wonder what opportunities have been abandoned? I wonder what learning curve has been flattened because going was the bold and perhaps easier way. I have been influenced by many great men. One of them once said, “When the going gets tough, the tough stay put.”

If you are sensing a coming season of change then do yourself and the Holy Spirit some honor. In that rising impulse to “Go…”,  Pause. Listen. He may be saying, “Go…nowhere. Stay the course and continue.”

Thank God for those times when we have gone forward boldly or otherwise. Let’s trust God that we won’t miss those times when His instruction for us is to “stay boldly”.

I want to live like that!