Pressing On

What keeps one from having no ambition to rise before the morning light? Yet the desires of their heart are to rise and hear the Lord and be wholly healed.

I sometimes feel disqualified from the race due to the many blasts I’ve had to embrace.

I am like a sea where storm never settles within—and am tossed about like a lion whose been preyed upon by its devourer. I feel I can not win.

I have a few good days where I watch the morning light and then distractions settle in and my attentions are turned away from my Conductor of this symphony of life in Him.

I am in a hole and cannot climb out and yet I am being required to now get out of the very hole I dug myself to hide from the world that eats at me.

I have recently discovered that I ran to the “church” as a child because of the “structure” it presented to someone (me) who had no structure in the home but chaos. Church was the only place I felt safe or “in control” because home was out of control. Now, later in life—I have wondered why my relationship with Christ is so inconsistent—topsy-turbie—it is because I ran to Him for all the wrong reasons. So much knowledge resides in me, but the relationship does not.

So how does one who has all knowledge wake every morning while it is yet night and churn a desire to spend time with the One she does not know how to just love? Where all her life she has been in control of every minute and now is being required to truly let go. And yet deep in the portals of her heart she cries deep to be free to run in the meadows with her Beloved? Yet is suspended in a hole that she has dug for over 30 years?

These are the questions I ask and these are the things I cry—for deep calls to deep.

These questions from time to time gnaw at me…
Why do I not bear fruit?
Why do I not go forward with Christ?
Why is there no change?
Why are bitter waters still present?
Am I a Christian?

Many are called—but few are chosen.
Not every person that is called will run the race or finish the race.

Recently a few weeks ago saw many runners running down the Bluff—they were dressed in their running garb and had their eyes set on a goal—to finish. This brought tears to my eyes as I thought about the Christian life—to run the race and reach the prize.

But this is where I went wrong—the race does not consist of asking Jesus inn my heart and then trying to do what is right in life—I will fail every time. That is why the list above has become so gnawing to me—because I have failed to realize that it is first about being an over-comer.

A certain man once realized during a death experience that…
The race begins when you are cultivated from above with the very nature of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. It is the new nature that must grow to maturity. This nature will bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit and in the image of Christ.

Okay, so how do I get this great nature? The very nature of God Himself that is solarized in permeation of my being…I asked—yes, the one that grows to maturity—because I am far from maturity. Because I am so desiring to bear good fruit and to have fertile soil so that nothing I hear or read that is of Truth gets lost in my mind heart soul.

Without the above, the believer has missed his or her mark. The cost to the one who does not overcome is missing the first resurrection since “Blessed and Holy is the one who participates in the first resurrection.”

TO OVERCOME
1 John 2:14
14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

1 John 4:4
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

2 Peter 2:19-21
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

Romans 12:21
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. KJV

Romans 3:4
4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

John 16:33
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Okay, so if I don’t overcome—I miss the first resurrection? So what is the first resurrection?

Revelation 20:5-6
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. KJV

I was not aware that there will be those who will not live again until the 1000 years of Christ reigning are finished. They will not live again? Will they be blind while Christ reigns or asleep? And when the enemy is unleashed for a 1000 years they will be deceived? So there are 2 resurrections—and those that do not hear see or obey will be held for the second resurrection which is this…

Revelation 20:11-15
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
KJV

So from the verses above—those that get verses 5 and 6 of Revelation 20 will not be part of the great white throne judgment—because they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony…those that heard and did—those that saw and did—those that obeyed all things…these will not suffer the second death—for it shall have no power over them—because they were overcomers.

Revelation 20:4
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. KJV

Oh my—I am far from this place—but I desire to be here and to have ears that hear. So how do I get to this place? Through the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of my testimony—for there is only one way…the Blood of Christ.

The Blood of the Lamb
Revelation 7:11-17
11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

So what is the Blood of the Lamb—how can it be applied to this life of mine?

Greek Meaning: Blood
NT:129
haima (hah’-ee-mah); of uncertain derivation; blood, literally (of men or animals), figuratively (the juice of grapes) or specially (the atoning blood of Christ); by implication bloodshed, also kindred:
KJV – blood.

Hebrew Meaning: Atonement
OT:3722
kaphar (kaw-far’); a primitive root; to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively, to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel:
KJV – appease, make (an atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile (-liation).

This makes sense for in the Old Testament the Israelite Priests sacrificed animals to create a covering—but the ‘bitumen’ filled up the gap (Noah used pitch or bitumen to build the ark—study this later) in their relationship with God—causing a pardon from their sins.

Romans 5:11-13
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Atonement : Greek
NT:2643
katallage (kat-al-lag-ay’); from NT:2644; exchange (figuratively, adjustment), i.e. restoration to (the divine) favor:
KJV – atonement, reconciliation (-ing).

Being restored to favor with God—being restored back to a right relationship with Him—just like in the garden before the fall.

NT:2643
katallage (kat-al-lag-ay’); from NT:2644; exchange (figuratively, adjustment), i.e. restoration to (the divine) favor:
KJV – atonement, reconciliation (-ing).

Jesus died and made an exchange for us—He was the ultimate sacrifice and exchanged death for life for those who believe. (to believe or have faith—first requirement)

NT:2644
katallasso (kat-al-las’-so); from NT:2596 and NT:236; to change mutually, i.e. (figuratively) to compound a difference:
KJV – reconcile.

NT:236
allasso (al-las’-so); from NT:243; to make different:
KJV – change.

NT:243
allos (al’-los); a primary word; “else,” i.e. different (in many applications):
KJV – more, one (another), (an-, some an-) other (-s, -wise).

Greek Meaning: Overcome
NT:3528
nikao (nik-ah’-o); from NT:3529; to subdue (literally or figuratively):
KJV – conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.

NT:3529
nike (nee’-kay); apparently a primary word; conquest (abstractly), i.e. (figuratively) the means of success:
KJV – victory.

RACE
Ecclesiastes 9:11
11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

1 Corinthians 9:23-27
23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

To not run the race and be exhausted, but to run with patience—a man who runs a marathon does not waste all his energy in the beginning of the race, but patiently waits for the right time to speed up—and stretches out his energy until the very end—and yet he does not step on others in the process—but runs as if he is the only one running this life long race.

Hebrews 12:1-2
12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Philippians 3:13-19
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

2 Timothy 2:3-7
3 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 And as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army. 5 Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize. 6 Hardworking farmers are the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. 7 Think about what I am saying. The Lord will give you understanding in all these things.

Conquerors
Romans 8:37-38
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

NT:5245
hupernikao (hoop-er-nik-ah’-o); from NT:5228 and NT:3528; to vanquish beyond, i.e. gain a decisive victory:
KJV – more than conquer.

NT:5228
huper (hoop-er’); a primary preposition; “over”, i.e. (with the genitive case) of place, above, beyond, across, or causal, for the sake of, instead, regarding; with the accusative case superior to, more than:
KJV – (+exceeding, abundantly) above, in (on) behalf of, beyond, by, very chiefest, concerning, exceeding (above, -ly), for, very highly, more (than), of, over, on the part of, for sake of, in stead, than, to (-ward), very. In comp. it retains many of the above applications.

NT:3528
nikao (nik-ah’-o); from NT:3529; to subdue (literally or figuratively):
KJV – conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory

NT:3529
nike (nee’-kay); apparently a primary word; conquest (abstractly), i.e. (figuratively) the means of success:
KJV – victory.

So basically I have already been given to tools and the means to not just be an overcomer but to be ‘more than’ a conqueror. So then why do we bow our heads and hang them low? Why do I walk or run this race as thinking I am weak—when I am strong in Christ? Because I have not grasped the Truth or the Life of knowing that in Christ –I can do all things and can run strong and reach the prize…for He has made it very easy for me…the key is to not let my interest be swayed to loving life—the world—but keeping my eyes set on Him alone—the Author and Finisher of my faith.

Watchman Nee says:
Every outward frustration is an opportunity for inward gain. Spiritual wealth comes only in God’s appointed way. We must pass through much suffering to gain it. God’s objective in all His dealings with us is not merely to dispense His life to us but also to meet the emergency of the hour; He wants to remake us by His indwelling life.

To be continued…

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