Wednesday, November 11, 2015
a broken spirit running with blinders... conditioned for His prize
What really matters is being close to Jesus. Being near Him. Staying open to receive His boundless love, and banking on His hopeful future. Learning and obeying His Word. Seeking Him in every circumstance. I know this. And yet, too often I find myself stuck in a self-made prison of doubt, fear, defeat. I forget His higher Ways as I focus on my lower worries. Why? Because the enemy distracts my eyes away from God's vision. Rather than give thanks for every gift, I set my short-term sight on greed, lust, pride. Ugh, pride. My pride pushes me to look away from God and toward false comforts and fake promises. And I love me my comforts. For the sake of comfort, I have bought into so many fake promises "guaranteeing" safety, security, fullness, peace. But without God, there can be no peace. So, inevitably I stumble in my selfishness. I fall down and feel my heart break once again for my Creator, my Savior, my Teacher, my Redeemer.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar. (Psalm 51)
Some horses must wear blinders. Blinders are a pair of small screens attached to a horse's bridle to prevent it from seeing sideways or behind. Many astute riders depend on blinders to keep a horse on-track, on-course, on-point. It channels a horse's vision and cuts down on the scope of their natural sight, producing a potent effect on an anxious horse accustom to seeing and reacting to everything that is around him. Not every horse runs with blinders, mind you. Some are more developed and inclined to block out distracting sights and sounds. I, however, am not such a horse. I am easily distracted, it seems, at every twist and turn. In fact, I am quite capable of slowing down and wandering off my intended course. Because of this, I need the blinders of Christ's Spirit protecting my eyes. I need to solely focus on the restoration and joy of His salvation. I must willingly rejoice in His unfailing love without compromise. For I cannot run my best without His veil of peace over me. I cannot win this race without His compassion and help. I cannot live pure, or steadfast, or justified without Jesus's Name clothing my whole being... my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Only with Him guiding me forward, will I win. His Way is all that matters. He is all I need.
My natural sight easily paves a path into sin. Alone, I am corrupt, lost. But my new life and vision in Christ exposes the full and complete compassion and love of Jesus. He gives. He provides. He loves. He conditions me for MORE! In His Name, I am a running purebred with a broken spirit. So today, my sacrifice, O God, is a broken contrite heart that You will not despise. Today, I choose to run with Your blinders on so that I might be trained to win. Please keep me focused and thankful, dear Lord. Stay close to me and help me to overcome because You already overcame! Yes, help this old mare to run well, run hard, run deliberate, and run with full vigor and thankfulness in order to glorify Your perfect Name. For all I really need is YOU leading me!
All I really need forever is Jesus!!!
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
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