Aug 042014
 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8

I thought after putting in 10 mile plus runs the first three miles would seem almost silly.  Too easy.  A walk in the park.  (You get the drift.)  And I was oh so wrong.  Again.

I had been so proud of myself finishing a 10 mile run over the weekend, had taken a day off and was heading out the door to do a measly three mile run.  Well, my over confidence was crushed quickly as I was huffing and puffing within the first 5 minutes.  And this did not stop.  For the rest of the run.

I questioned my technique.  I blamed it on the hill.  On my lack of sleep the night before.  But after all my inner mind debating, I came to the reality.  These first three miles were no different than any other time I had run three miles.  Whether I do a 10 mile or a three or four mile run (soon to be 15, 16, 17-yikes!), those first three are always struggle.

But it is amazing how my body “gets in the zone” after three miles.  I think my body just realizes, “Oh, I guess she truly is going to keep going.  and going.  and going.  Might as well give in to it and stop fighting it.”  My breathing smoothes out.  My stride is steady.  My mind has stopped playing the “How will I survive this” track and goes into a resting, prayerful track.  All after three miles.

So I came to the realization that there is a pattern in my running-the first three kill me and after that is a “miraculous body rhythm of bliss”.  And I have come to realization that there is a spiritual pattern that occurs as I follow Jesus.

Jesus says in His Word to “Ask, Seek and Knock”.

“Notice the three different senses being considered here. Asking is verbal; Christians are to use their mouths and petition God for their needs and desires. And believers are to seek with their minds—this is more than asking; it is a setting of priorities and a focusing of the heart. To knock involves physical movement, one in which the Christian takes action.” (www.gotquestions.org).

Mile One is like “The Ask”:  It is about the heart-  So difficult to get up the motivation to go on the run in the first place and also so difficult to get up the strength to go to God in prayer.  This is a heart issue on both fronts.  Requesting something from God means I am not in control.  I have to lay down my pride.  I have to rely on Him instead of my own abilities.  I feel uncomfortable being needy.  But I must do it.  I must call out to God, for He IS my help.

Mile Two is like “The Seek”:  It is about the mind-It seems I  got past the worst of it, I got up the nerve to go and persevere for the first mile, I also humbled myself and asked God for help.  But mile two poses new challenges.  Mile two I feel as though I am not in shape due to my huffing and I am in a frustrated mental state.  I also begin to experience warfare in my mind immediately as I begin to partake in the disciplines of being in His Word and being obedient to His Voice in my life.  Not getting up early, for example, has recently been a pull from the enemy towards disobedience (or simply my own laziness to continue holding the comfort of my pillow).  Mile two involves overcoming distractions, laziness, and opinions of others, while renewing the mind towards God’s Kingdom priorities.

Mile Three is like “The Knock”:  It is about the body-Because I have fought the good fight, pushing through the mental and heart resistance of the first two miles, it seems this final rough mile three would not be too much of a challenge.  But it is.  Mile three is so close to being in the “over the hump” zone where my breathing evens out, my mind is at peace, but my body is still fighting for me to walk.  Or stop completely.  Spiritually, my body fights to only “talk the talk” about Jesus, but not actually “walk the walk”.  I can’t quite get my legs to go over and talk to the stranger I feel an impressing to show God’s love to.  I can’t seem to move beyond my normal schedule of laundry and parks to pick up the phone and see what meal I can bring to a Sister recovering from surgery.  I can’t get off the couch to do the work of gaining more knowledge (in an area of weakness/discomfort ) about a particular group of people, activity, ministry God is calling me to.  Mile three involves putting my feet to action.  It asks the question, “Am I moving forward in Jesus, am I in a place of stretching, out of my comfort zone as I follow Him.  What am I relying on Jesus for in this season?”

So get out there my friends, Ask, Seek, and Knock as you train and run your race of life.  Because what is up ahead is good.  I am anxious to hear how God is faithful to you personally.  How He gave you what you asked.  Helped you find what you were looking for.  And opened wide doors of opportunity to bear fruit for the Kingdom, find joy in the day, hold peace in the now and experience freedom from your burdens.

 

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 142014
 

I was going alone.  And going alone is not something I do well.  At all.  I remember in my childhood informing my mom I “must have a buddy” to attend CanyonView summer camp.  It felt only natural to participate in soly group sports in high school.  I make sure to ask around to see who I would be able to connect with when joining a new women’s Bible study.  But sometimes our God calls us into the unknown.  And to do it alone.  This was this weeks Year of the Squirrel revelation.

I walked out the strange, uncomfortable and unexpected last weekend in response to a nudge from Jesus.  I had no expectations for how God would work as He lead me to attend my first writer’s conference.  I had all expectation God would do a work.  A good, good work.  Because when He leads us into the great unknown, there is fruit and there is joy.  Here is the proof:

Confession:  I am clutsy in nature, and even more clutsy when responding “Yes” to the Spirit’s leading.  But thankfully God knows each of our weaknesses and strengths and still invites all of His Daughter’s to participate with Him in His good work.  It was the last session of the writer’s conference.  I felt an impressing upon my heart to go up to one of the speakers and encourage her.

Confession #2:  I initially tend to argue with the Lord when He is prompting me to go and do.  I had a mental debate with Him,  “I mean, for Pete’s sake Lord, it is inconvenient timing and an inconvenient situation.  It is the middle of corporate worship, she is on the extreme opposite side of the room and everyone will look at me weirdly wondering why I am interrupting the session.”  He didn’t seem to go with my logical argument.  And…back to embracing the strange in my Year of the Squirrel, I said  “Yes” to God.

You might want to plug your ears for this next part.  Because here is where my clutsy approach happens.  I nearly tripped over half of the people as I got to where she was standing and worshiping and said, “Hi”.  (Completely awkwardly, and with no follow up.)  She graciously said, “Do I know you?”  I said, “No.” (Once again, awkwardly.)  Then I blurted out over the music, “I am Jillian”.  She waited for more.  And so I encouraged her with the one thing that was on repeat in my mind, “I so appreciate your courage to share out of what the Spirit directed you to say, not out of what you could say.” (being a published author and all).

She replied, “Thank you so much, I needed that.  I speak in 5 minutes again to the large group, would you pray for me.”  So we did.  It was a squirrel sighting my friends.  A time when the Lord led, I strangely, clumsily followed, and He showed up to bless.  All I can say is Wow.  What an honor it is to be apart of seeing our God work.  What a joy to see the intense love our Father has for His daughter’s.  What fruit happens when we are connect to THE VINE, Jesus.

Thank you Lord for pushing me to go alone.  But I see now that I am never alone. Because you are always with me.  And He is always with you too.  Say “Yes” to the Spirit’s strange nudge to you today my friends.  And I am expectant for the good work, joy and fruit that is to come.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deut 31:6

In what ways have you had to “go alone”?

 

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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