Our obstacle course

I felt last night that the post I put here was incomplete in some way. When I went to my devotionals today, I realized why. I needed to post this in explanation of some of the things that I posted yesterday. Gotta love Chuck Swindoll!
Our Obstacle Course
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read 1 Kings 17:5–7

Part of every boot camp experience is the grueling, grinding, and sometimes daunting obstacle course. It is neither fun nor easy, but its demanding discipline prepares the recruit for whatever situations he or she may face in the future, particularly under enemy fire. In the spiritual life, before we can truly benefit from “the hidden life” that God uses to prepare us for whatever future He has planned for us, we must overcome at least four major obstacles. I think of them as four tough membranes of the flesh: pride, fear, resentment, and long-standing habits. Conquering these layers of resistance will prepare us for the future and harden us for combat with the adversary.

In a very real sense, God has designed a boot camp for His children, but it doesn’t last just eight weeks or ten weeks. Nor is it a weekend seminar we can take or a day-long workshop we can attend. God’s training course takes place periodically throughout the Christian life. And there, in the very center of obstacles and pain and solitude, we come to realize how alive God is in our lives—how alive and in charge. He will invade us, reduce us, break us, and crush us, so that we will become the people He intends us to be.
No matter how many years we walk with the Lord, we must still, at times, pass through our own Gethsemane. It happens every time He sends us to the brook to live the hidden life. It happens every time He disorients us as He displaces us; every time He pulls out all the props; every time He takes away more of the comforts; every time He removes most of the “rights” we once enjoyed. And He does all this so that He can mold us into the person that we otherwise never would be. He knows what He’s about.
Elijah went to Cherith as an energetic spokesman for God—a prophet. He emerged from Cherith as a deeper man of God. All this happened because he was left beside a brook that dried up. Alone, but not forgotten. Tested, but not abandoned.
Are you ready to go back to the potter’s wheel?

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bernice
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 18:51:13

    Boot Camp. I know something about the grueling stages of such exercise. In fact, I wanted to sign up for one offered right now at our YMCA, but did not due to physical issues at hand. That and absolute fear. I knew I could not, did not want to, feared to, etc., do some of what I picture as the physically exhausting exercises a young Coast Guard reservist and one of the YMCA personal trainer would throw my way. I’d be in a class, probably, with more determined, younger people, inhibited by what I face now. So, I did not sign up THIS time. I pray for the time when my body’s chemistry normalizes again and I can physically bear the endurance of such training. I am saddened by my limitations now. Seriously saddened. But know if I follow through perhaps there will be a day soon I can participate in a boot camp….because I love the challenges. Do I think the Lord calls us to rest against our wills? Oh, I KNOW so. Am I happy about where I am again physically? No. No. No. Are there answers to get chemistry normal? Well, my head is too muddled to even think that far, but based on past experience, YES…YES…YES. My new goal is to truly hear bluntly from the Lord which doctor’s protocol is correct. Dr. B or Dr. M. I no longer want to listen to my “gut,” but want a choice directed in and through the Holy Spirit. It’s that simple as I in myself have run out of answers. So, even though my personal brook has dried past extinction, really, the Holy One has waters for which I thirst and long to dip. Praying for that blunt answer to occur soon.

    Reply

  2. JOYCE GERALD
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 19:55:32

    OY!!!!

    Reply

  3. JOYCE GERALD
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 19:58:36

    Reply

  4. Wynette aka Flip Flip
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 20:55:03

    O I am no where near ready for something of that magnitude Bernice. You have me beat there. But I will speak complete heath and total restoration on your body. Lord reach out to her with your powerful hands of healing and give her back what the evil one has stolen from her. These things we as in your sweet name, Jesus. AMEN!~!

    Reply

  5. Sherri
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 00:15:09

    Bernice: I too, will pray for total restoration of your body – total healing!!

    This was an excellent post Wyn! I pray that, as Charles Swindoll spoke here in this message, that God will help me to overcome these 4 obstacles!!

    Reply

  6. Wynette aka Flip Flip
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 06:56:09

    You are welcome Sherri!

    Reply

  7. Bueller
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 12:40:35

    I must admit, the boot camp I went through many years ago for the military is nothing compared to what I have gone through as I journey with God. Even though I thought it was difficult then it was actually pretty easy as my body was much younger. Today, I deal with the pain and other issues that make up my life. They do NOT rule my life, they just happen to be who I am. And, I’m finding that’s not such a bad thing!!

    Reply

  8. Joyce Gerald
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 17:35:29

    hmmm Bueller.. life is what we make it regardless of what our bodies tell us heh?

    Reply

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