I am in training. The effort, while often rewarding, is strenuous. I am not the typical athlete. There are some drills that really trip me up. I still can become entangled, enticed to make the wrong move. I can get stuck in the old patterns that are not effective in reaching my goal. I can find myself doing the same drills over and over again. Sometimes, old injuries flare up and I limp through, now protecting a wound rather than making progress.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, lets throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1)
In training this week, I have felt like I either have not overcome an injury or am stuck in a level of preparation and training that is not producing the results for high level competition. I am not winning the battle. Just this morning…in a “practice session,” I tripped over some words, and then ended up back in the “medical tent” (aka my prayer closet or my office), my “coach” sent me directly to the passage in James: “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does to bring about the righteous life that God desires” (v. 19, 20). I often get this verse mixed up…exchanging quick and slow to read: be slow to listen, quick to speak and quick to become angry. Ya, I know, that’s not what is written. I saw it clearly, this morning, and I knew my mistake. I missed the mark, totally failed even to get out of the starting gate and headed, immediately off course.
When I fall into this trap, I know the way out. I need to trust my training. I have been trained to endure and I know where to go to get help. One of my greatest lessons has been to wait on the Lord, stop engaging too quickly and wait for the Father to move the mountain before me. I know when I begin speaking too quickly, I am either fearful that my needs will not be met, or have taken my eyes off Jesus, looking only at the circumstances I see. I need to remember that my vision is limited. I do not see what God sees. I need more grace. I have a promise. I can have a confident expectation of good when my eyes are fixed on Him.
And our hope for you [our joyful and confident expectation of good for you] is every unwavering [assured and unshaken]; for we know that just as you share and are partners in [our] sufferings and calamities, you also share and are partners in [our] comfort [consolation and encouragement] 2 Corinthians 1:7 AMP
When the Holy Spirit touches something about my training that needs attention, I have learned to heed His words of correction. Correction from the Holy Spirit is never dealt through shame or condemnation, but always revelation that leads to repentance out of love and a genuine desire to change. My heart is to move to the next level, to be stronger and a more dependable steward of the gifts He has given me. Usually this requires a resting in His presence. Waiting on the Lord, requires waiting. I sit, intentionally press through distraction, listen and wait for Him to speak. That’s where I win the victory…every time.