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“ENDURING FAITH: Fuel” – Oct 2

October 2, 2013

“For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.””  Hebrews 10:36-38

I don’t know of anyone who wants to be a quitter.  Who has aspirations of being the weakest link?  I have never met a person who started their new life in Christ by setting their spiritual thermostat to lukewarm.

Yet, it happens to a lot of us.  I will venture to suggest that it has happened to the majority of us for at least a short period of time in our life.  That is why the Bible is full of encouragement to persevere and to endure.  We would not need to be reminded to fight the good fight if we were not inclined to stop fighting.

Walking in the Spirit is not a sprint.  It is a marathon and we need endurance for a marathon.

This is the second post exploring three principles from physical endurance that seem analogous to our spiritual endurance.  The first post was ENDURING FAITH: The Heart.  Today, I want to think about the fuel we need to endure.

FUEL

81191-2478-030fMy personal experiences of  “hitting the wall” have never been pleasant and have always made the road home very difficult.  I had thought that the mysterious wall, lurking out at some unknown distance could be eluded with improved fitness.  However, colliding with the wall has little to do with one’s fitness level.  Most of us have seen incredibly fit athletes stumbling against their personal encounter with the wall.  The wall always wins.

Hitting the wall” only becomes a concern when you have developed enough endurance to reach it.  Typically, the wall begins to become an obstacle once you engage in a continual workout that lasts longer than 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  Up until that time, most people are using the energy stored in their muscles and liver.   The collision with the wall happens when your body consumes all of its energy reserves and runs simply out of fuel.

The problems arise when we try to keep going when our internal tanks are empty.  Proper fueling is necessary to avoid this problem for the longer endurance challenges.  I don’t worry about eating anything when I do an Olympic distance triathlon.  I don’t need to bother with eating during the event since that distance is within my reserves.  However, I have to eat throughout a century ride.  I have to supply my body with energy to keep going for that type of distance.

Many people do not approach life like an endurance event.  They live like fueling their souls is optional.  Many professing Christians misunderstand the roller coaster nature of their spiritual lives.  They want to think of their spiritual highs and lows as a normal process when in reality their lives are more like a pattern of repeatedly hitting the spiritual wall.  They endure for a while until they run out of fuel from their last spiritual experience and end up on the curb, feeling horrible and miserable.  At that point, the process of recovery and restoration has to start once again to get them back on their feet.

The long walk in the Spirit requires endurance.  A life-time of good fighting requires fuel.  Just like a long endurance event requires fueling along the way, spiritual fuel must be consumed along the way of an enduring life.  Jesus instructs us about this spiritual food that we need.

Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.  (John 6:27)

Clearly, we are to be laboring for the food that comes from Christ to fuel our endurance unto eternal life.  This food is not one big meal, served at our salvation that has to last us through to the end.  Just like Jesus, we receive spiritual food throughout our duration on this earth.  Jesus explained what this food was.

My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.  (John 4:34)

This was the spiritual food that Christ received to strengthen him.  I think that this is the same spiritual food that Jesus provides to us along our spiritual paths.  Jesus feeds us along our long walk in the Spirit as we are doing God’s will.

BonkThe opposite is equally true.  We are not going to be fed if we are following our own will; if we are walking in the flesh.  Christ will allow us to crash into our personal spiritual walls when our will becomes supreme.  He will allow us to ride the miserable spiritual roller coaster of highs and lows.  There are many professing Christians sitting on the proverbial curb with their heads in their hands wondering why this whole religion thing doesn’t seem to be working.  They have run out of the fuel that they need to endure.  They have “hit the wall” because they have not been properly fueling for a life of endurance.

Fortunately, we have not been left to try and discern what God’s will is for our lives.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification:  that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.  For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.  (1 Thess. 4:3-7)

God’s will for His children is their personal sanctification.  He has called us all in holiness.  The Spirit accomplishes God’s will in our lives by transforming us from sin and death into holiness.  This transformation changes who we are and how we react.  This means that there will be evidence of God’s will being fulfilled in our lives.  It is called the fruit of Spirit.  God want us to bear spiritual fruit.

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:8)

The fruit of the Spirit only comes by living and walking in the Spirit; setting our minds on the things of the Spirit.  Therefore, God’s will is for us to live in His Spirit and to abide in His love.  When are doing the will of the Father, living in His Spirit and abiding in His love, then He will provide the spiritual food that we need to endure.

Endurance comes from doing the will of God because that is the source of our spiritual food.

There is no short cut.  Our race is too long to endure on our internal reserves.  Disobedience will cause us to “hit the wall” and it will ultimately lead to death because setting the mind on the flesh is against God’s will.

The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  (Romans 8:7-8)

We all have need of endurance.  Therefore, we all have need of holiness.

A life of holiness is not an option for the child of God.  It is the source of our daily spiritual bread our eternal life depends upon it.

PRAYER: Lord, forgive me for not valuing the work of the Spirit in my life.  Forgive me for not laboring for holiness.  Forgive me for seeking my will above your will.  Father, you have been so good to me.  Thank you for the fruit that has been produced in my life.  Please continue to help me walk in your Spirit and set my mind on the things of  You.  Lord, I need the spiritual food that comes only from You.  Help me to endure well and to eternal life.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

12 comments

  1. […] analogous to our spiritual endurance.  The pervious posts were ENDURING FAITH: The Heart and ENDURING FAITH: Fuel.  Today, I want to think about how proper breathing helps us to […]


  2. Pure awesomeness! Just exactly where I have been this week! Thank you for confirming these things to me! 🙂


    • Hey Toni – thank you for the kind words. I am so glad that this post was used as confirmation in your life.
      God Bless!
      JD


    • Hey Toni – thank you for the kind words. I am so glad that this post was used as confirmation in your life.
      God Bless!
      JD


  3. I am encouraged by your story, for I know God did not give us the spirit of fear but power, love and a sound mind. I am always reminded of Ecclesiastes 9:11: The race was not given to the swift nor the strong but the one who can endureth till the end. Thank you for your journey. Keep motivating and sharing in the spirit, for it heals not only others but yourself too. God Bless.
    Thanks for visiting my blog and liking two of my posts. 🙂


    • That is a great verse that ties in so well. Thanks for commenting.
      God Bless!
      JD


  4. I needed this today, thank you so much!


    • Hi Diane – you are very welcome.
      God Bless!
      JD


  5. Very timely for me. Dealing with foot injuries and bad knees which makes the race hard to run. The hardest part is how tiring you get and how much that affects your mental state.


    • That is so very true. The race is more mental than physical. I hope you injuries heal up soon.
      God Bless!
      JD


  6. you are so right…while we often think we need to find extra strength before we can obey, I have actually found that in obedience I find a new push in my faith… He is truly so good to us … amen to your prayer!


    • I have had the exact same experience. There is the moment of decision to follow in obedience and then the confirmation of God’s will. He really is good to his kids.
      God Bless!
      JD



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