Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On the Road Again - MOUNTAIN TOP

The Whee Factor

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Suffering changes us. On a bike, the slow, painful struggle of a hill climb reworks our inner most self creating a rugged-enduring disposition.

The summit delivers a momentary euphoria - even more thrilling, the downhill. At the top, a celebration of the new strength of character suffering produces takes place (Romans 5:3-4). But, it’s what we carry with us in to the valley that causes us to rejoice with songs of “Wheee!”

On the journey to the top, suffering causes me to reconsider who I am or more importantly, whose I am. We learn to dig in to the deepest parts of our being and allow God’s redeeming work to make us new. If we permit Him, He exhausts the things that hinder our journey (Hebrews 12:1) and builds us up in the things we need to run the race marked out for us with peace and joy.

A precious friend asked me to clarify this all important question, “What does a relationship with Jesus do for me?” And for an instant, I was challenged to summarize in 30 seconds this insanely important question. Beyond our rescue from darkness and eternal separation from God, Jesus teaches me and you personally and intimately how to live abundantly here on earth and not suffer in the brokenness of this world waiting for the beauty of heaven.

If suffering has its way with us properly, it produces in us a new person set-apart from the world, with a new outward focus. Life is no longer about us: our personal pleasure and our personal agenda. Our focus moves from connecting with some god who is a genie in a bottle to becoming one with the very Spirit that gives us life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25).

I am aware we as the American culture see little evidence of a true disciple of Jesus. And so, I truly understand why my friend would ask this question. So, here are some rubber meets the road questions for you:

·   Do you live as if nothing can separate you from the love of Christ (Romans )?
·   Do you carry around in you the death of Christ so that you may live abundantly (2 Corinthians )?
·   Is the Spirit of God the very source of your prayers (Romans -27)?

So, on the high speed ride back down to the valley, I feel the breeze on my skin and the adrenaline pumping through my veins, as I prepare to share with the lost, the sick, and the blind the LOVE of Christ - The Whee Factor.  

My bones will explode in a furious flame (Jeremiah 20:9) if I do not share how high, how wide, how deep, and how long is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:17-19). This is not a duty or obligation. It is a thrilling ride! I invite you to join me in sharing this love with all that you know. We do not have to wait for heaven to have the abundant JOY He longs for us to have (John 10:10b). 

This is the 6th post in a six week series on hill climbing. Be sure to read the ENTIRE series ...

If you enjoyed this blog series you may also enjoy the series ... Open Road, Narrow Path
To learn more about how to experience God in your everyday life and sing songs of Wheee! all the way home be sure to read The Whee Factor by Edy Sutherland



Anonymous said...

I don't know if its possible to ride your bike up a hill without realizing some physical benefit but I'm sure we can go through a trial (big or small) and gain nothing spiritually. All you have to do is keep your focus on yourself and be angry and bitter. You will actually get better and better at being ugly with every miserable attempt.
Spiritual hill-climbs always produce results, good or bad. What are you going to to with the little hills your going to have to climb today?