I had kind of an interesting experience this morning. As I was speaking the Word over my wife before I got her up and ready for the day, I noticed that the morning light streaming through the bedroom window at the foot of the bed was reflecting off the diamond in Piper’s wedding ring. Every time she moved her left hand a bright light flashed across my face. It almost seemed like the Lord was visibly reflecting off the Word of Life that we were speaking as a sign of His commitment to it and to us! Needless to say, that thought greatly encouraged me and put an extra wide smile upon my face!
Earlier in the quiet of our study, I had been looking at what my commentary described as the “Five Essentials for Running the Christian Race” as the Apostle Paul outlined in Philippians chapter three. The last two of Determination and Discipline gave me the sense that Paul had been reading our mail! Have you ever had that happen to you while reading your Bible?
Using Philippians 3:14-16 as his basis, the author made the comparison of the determined Christian to that of a successful athlete. He stated that a winning athlete becomes a winner by not just entering the game but by doing so with a determination to win… accompanied by lots of practice and dedication. He also added that it is not enough for the individual to run hard and win the race, but also to follow the rules so not to finish the race only to be disqualified!
These statements brought back a myriad of memories from my track running days and hours of lonely practice on that dirt track back in Junior High, the countless interviews I pursued to get back into management at Hewlett Packard in the 1990’s, the various stands of faith my wife and I have taken in the face of disagreement from many around us, the hours of research I’ve read concerning Piper’s health needs and potential benefits available to us for assistance in her care, to my daily ritual (enjoyable ritual… I might add!) of getting in my Bible study time at the start of each day no matter what is on my schedule that day!
It’s all taken a lot of Determination and Discipline to the things that are important to us in this life. It is like the athlete who is good at his or her sport, knows the rules well, and successfully plays the game using the rules to their advantage!
I’ve mentioned in past blog posts that my wife and I have always taken God’s Word rather literally throughout our relationship together. But along with that belief, we have always been students of the Word in order to assure that our understanding of the Word was correct. We’ve been faithful in study, quick to make corrections and humble (… Okay…most of the time…) to admit mistakes when they happened. We have always heralded the statement that: “God said it, I believe it and that settles it!” Piper loved to add the personal comment that “In reality, God said it and that alone settles it whether we believe it or not!” I would have to add though, that each of us has to apply the Word that we believe, in order for Papa God to work that Word in our lives!
To us, much of what the Bible says is pretty black and white. And it has always amazed us to try and understand how some mature Christians find it hard to believe or actually attempt to explain away some of the miraculous things promised to us in the Word, simply because they don’t match up to our natural, human understanding. After all… we are dealing with a supernatural, all powerful, all knowing Supreme Being here… aren’t we? Why wouldn’t or couldn’t He work for us in a realm that goes beyond our limited understanding?
I guess part of this is just my wife’s and my natural makeup as we never really liked to get into something just halfway. If we’re going to commit to something, then we’ve always desired to give it our best and let God do the rest! So that is my thought for this wonderful weekend ahead! If your gonna do it, then jump in with both feet and expect to excel at it – In every area of your life… with your number one emphasis being your success for and in the Kingdom of God! Have a great weekend, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “In What or Whom am I expecting to excel in today?”