Reflections of Grace 43: Living From the Heart, part 6

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We must eat daily…spirit, soul, and body to grow, be balanced, and to be healthy…in all three areas: spirit, soul, and body.

  • We are so fast paced in our country.  And we have incorporated this into our relationship with God.  We are a fast food nation.
  • We want instantaneous answers, overnight transformation, and speedy growth. We want drive up and drive through service.
  • But God desires to speak to us daily through his word. He wants to have direct conversation with us. When we only rely upon others to feed us on Sunday mornings, we are relying upon the processed word; what we are being fed by someone else… not the pure word that God speaks directly to us.   It is great to share the word with others and hear their insights, but if that is all you rely on and don’t commune with Him yourself and listen to his voice for yourself, you are eating processed foods, spiritually, and it is not enough to sustain you or show you how to walk in the Kingdom every day.

Now, physically speaking, the healthiest natural organic foods are whole foods… not processed foods.

  • Our bodies need choice fruit and vegetables straight from the vine. Processed foods make the body sick. They lack vital nutrients and contain impure additives and dyes that have no value to our bodies. Though filling, they are toxic and do nothing but promote disease.
  • It takes work to go get good, healthy, food.  The planning and cooking and just the overall inconvenience of having to take the time to eat it.   It is so much easier to run by the drive through and eat something that tastes good and fills us up, but is killing our healthy cells.  We can deny it for a while, but when we get physically sick we either let our addiction for fast food kill us or change our ways.
  • In the same way, it takes time and persistence to walk with Jesus every day and to pursue him with all your heart.  Going to a building on one day a week and thinking that is enough for true Kingdom living is deceiving ourselves.

It is not enough!

  • The collective body of Christ is sick from eating processed foods, spiritually speaking. They have been doing it so long that they do not know how to eat and drink freely from Him… To meditate with Jesus, to spend time with just Him. They think just going to a church institution will be enough.  But then they wonder why they go back to a defeated, mundane life the rest of the week.
  • We eat fast food on Sundays and then wonder why we are starving and miserable the rest of the week.  Yet any minute of the day He is standing there waiting for you to listen to His whispers in your heart.
  • It takes an investment in time, deliberate focus and purpose to eat well. As it is with our body and natural food, so it is with our spirit and spiritual food.
  • The pursuit to find any formula that can be applied to produce his righteousness and provide me with New Testament church life, or even grow my trust, is foolish.
  • It will fail, time and time again, until in the end we come to realize that this reality only comes through a growing friendship with Him. The more I know Him and the more I see his hand at work the freer I will be to trust Him and live in His kingdom.
  • Any time we choose to follow someone else’s formula for success, or an agenda no matter how well intentioned, we will end up living by our own limited wisdom.

The invitation to this Kingdom is to follow a person.

  • Jesus doesn’t give us the way; He is The Way.
  • He doesn’t have life; he is The Life.
  • He doesn’t just speak truth; He is The Truth itself.
  • Everything about His kingdom begins and ends in Him and we experience that through a growing friendship with Him.
  • To grow in this life, I am continually cultivating my relationship with Him. I intentionally spend time with him as I grow in my awareness of his working throughout my day. I have a running conversation with him about everything in my life and express my desire to follow His will at every turn.
  • For me is has been great freedom to realize that I never had the power or wisdom to accomplish God’s purposes in my life,  and how losing confidence in my flesh actually freed me to live more dependent on him and more grateful for his working.

How could fast food Christianity ever produce this?

The pattern in everything is this:

  • The greater joys are obtained through struggle and difficulty and pain—things you must force yourself to do when you don’t feel like it—while brief, unsatisfying, and often destructive joys are as inviting as a big old feather bed and down comforters.
  • God, in great mercy, is showing us everywhere, in things that are just shadows of heavenly realities, that there is great reward for those who struggle through and persevere (Hebrews 10:32–35).
  • He is reminding us almost everywhere to walk by faith in a promised future and not by the sight of immediate gratification (2 Corinthians 5:7).
  • Each struggle to overcome becomes a gigantic flag to us saying, “Look ahead, past the struggle itself, past the temptation of the puny, vapor joys to the great, sustained, substantial Joy set before you!”
  • See your Father pointing you to the reward he has planned for all who endure to the end. (Matthew 24:13).

Transpose it from reluctance to a reminder that God is calling you not to indulgence but endurance.

  • Then lay this weight aside and run with faith the race he has set before you. God will meet you with the grace you need (2 Corinthians 9:8).
  • This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17–18)
  • Every time I think I’ve figured out the way God works he’ll amaze me yet again – That used to frustrate me. It doesn’t any more. I am finally settled in the reality that he wouldn’t do anything the way I would. I’m convinced of the fact that he does all things well, even if he doesn’t do them for my comfort or convenience. And I am convinced that following him is the only real way to live, circumstance-by-circumstance, task-by-task, obedience-by-obedience. And I have come to love it that way.

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