Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pain + Process= Powerful Results

I pondered on my Lip Service post from a couple of days ago. I guess this is Part Two....

As I said, I have been so stirred to really consider, REALLY consider what my destiny in Christ holds. He has gripped my heart in His hands and I have been forever changed, challenged, encouraged...

I came to the realization that we, in our desire to please God, really want to respond to the difficulty of the process we must go through to fulfill His plan the way Jesus did when He said...

"Papa, Father, you can—can't you?—get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. But please, not what I want—what do you want?" Mark 14:36

There was an urgency in Jesus' prayer, pain in knowing what the process was to reach the fulfillment of His destiny. Still, His final response to the Father was, "not what I want-what do YOU want?"

I believe with all of my heart that we all do desire to respond like Jesus did here, however, many times we tend to respond like Peter. We fall short...

"He (Jesus) came back and found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, "Simon, you went to sleep on me? Can't you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don't enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don't be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire."
Mark 14:37-38 (The Message)

Peter tried to stay awake, we see in the previous scripture that he tried but just couldn't hold His eyes open. His doggone flesh got in the way! He was tired folks! And what Jesus said to Him, well, it is true for all of us from time to time...

"Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire."

The lazy old dog... sleeping BY the fire, not involved IN the making of or stirring of the fire... only close enough to say he was there but not close enough or involved enough to be touched by the fire. BUT we ARE eager to experience the goodness of God, to embrace the end product of our destiny, THAT is the easy part! Hey, how many kids do you know who would LOVE to have the ice cream despite whether or not they ate their vegetables?

Back the the dog beside the fire... To me, that fire represents our destiny. We can either be involved in keeping it stirred and fanning the flame so it manifests it's maximum potential, or we can hang around the outskirts of the fire. We may reap the benefits of the warmth, heat and light it sheds but we aren't aware of what that fire can do if we allow it to get inside of us. That is the Mark 14:36 part. You see, to be fully engulfed with the fire of God, His plan for our lives, we may get burned, and I can guarantee it will cost something, it will require sacrifice, it will require death to self. And THAT may friend, is the tough part of fulfilling your destiny in Christ.

It is the part that will find you on your face at 2 in the morning. It is the part that may find you feeling as if you are single handedly fighting hell looking around for everyone who said they'd never leave. It is the part that doesn't make sense because you KNOW you heard God but you are terrified of stepping out. It is the part that says it is CRAZY to say yes when every other contributing factor is screaming NO! It is the part when your family, friends and colleagues shake their heads and think you are a foolish dreamer. It is the part where those who once rallied for you turn their backs and the cheers become jeers. It is the part that says to STAND when every PhD in the world would say you are justified to pull the covers over your head.

And although not remotely the same on a million levels, it is the same part where Jesus said,

"Papa, Father, you can—can't you?—get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. But please, not what I want—what do you want?" Mark 14:36

I have decided that every time I am tempted to be like that naive, lazy old dog, I am going to remember Mark 14:36.

Folks, I haven't even come close to the fulfillment of my destiny in Christ. There is so much left to do and I know it is time for me to get into the position necessary to say with every God opportunity I encounter, "not what I want-what do YOU want?"

And no matter how difficult, no matter how painful it might become, I realize it is only temporary pain in the process that will produce a powerful result for my Lord and His purpose for my being. It is a daily re-affirmation, and it ain't easy. However, on the flip side, I have gotten a little too close to that fire and having warm hands and a little light to read by just won't do it for me.

Join the Journey,

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Positioned for Greatness said...

Great honey! May God ignite us so others can come watch us burn.

Kerry said...

Great post Tara! I love the "old dog by the fire" analogy. I too believe that no one wants to be that old dog by the fire and so we have to constantly be reminded of our destiny and strive to aim higher every single day. No it will not be easy and that is why we NEED Jesus to walk with us! Thank you for sharing this.

Deanna Shrodes said...

Great thoughts, my friend.

I am standing with you for the manifestation of all the things God has shown you about your destiny!

Pray for me if you see this in time, I'm going to preach in Eagle Lake, FL tonight.

I need to talk to you soon about some stuff upcoming...dream with you...pick your brain...just hear your voice. :-)

I love you,