Sunday, July 7, 2013
Running the Race
This morning was a great one in church. I came in feeling very oppressed and condemned. I know that "there is no condemnation for those who are called according to Christ," and yet I have trouble getting that verse from my head into my heart.
Last night, I had a scary dream that a huge giant was on top of me, yelling all my sins and all my failures at me. While I didn't know it was a dream, I did seem to think that if I could open my eyes-- to a different reality-- it would stop and I'd be free. As hard as I tried though, I couldn't open my eyes. I tried to tell the giant man that I was forgiven and had Jesus to protect me, but I didn't believe it enough to make it convincing. I'm not sure how, but I eventually woke up.
Yet, the dream has stayed with me. I felt so guilty because it reminds me of how weak my faith is in real life as well. I want to be able to proclaim my freedom from condemnation boldly, but I don't. I'm pretty sure the dream was of Satan, and with that in mind, I was pretty shaken up, condemned, and upset when I went to church. After praying, focusing on God through worship, and talking to others, I was able to remember that God isn't out there waiting to strike me down. As my dad said, he doesn't just "tolerate" us, he madly loves us and lavishes us with his love. He has already forgiven me, and not living in that forgiveness and freedom is telling Jesus that his sacrifice wasn't good enough. Ever thought about it like that?
So in this struggle, I kept telling myself I just need to get back up again and keep proclaiming that I am a sinner yet forgiven. I am imperfect, yet free of condemnation because Christ says so! That is so awesome! What I'll try to do from now on, is:
1.) Identify the spiritual warfare
2.) Find the truth: there is always a way to become closer to God through Satan's tactics.
3.) Rebuke the lie and fill myself up with scripture. Don't try to THINK my way out of it (this usually ends with a headache and a good cry about how condemned I feel that I can't stop feeling so condemned...ya, I wouldn't recommend the "intellectual" route in that way).
In all of this, I was so grateful that my dad reminded me of Heather Dorniden. In church today, we were sang the song that is used in the YouTube video of Heather Dorniden's race, and he said that he always thinks of that race when the song plays. It was so encouraging to me because I am reminded that although Heather was just running a race, she was displaying an attitude. She was making a stand for the Christlike characteristic of perseverance. Whether you are a runner or not, I'm sure you have been through some of the trials I talk about. Surely you have experienced the troubles of this life, and you've come to the fork in the road: take a "rest" or fight the fight.
Today, Heather Dorniden's race is significant of the walk of faith. Although I sin and although I struggle with condemnation, I get back up and I joyfully continue on my journey. So I would encourage you to check this video out, whether you are a runner or a coach sitter: you will benefit from seeing this encouraging message of never giving up.