Gaining Weight Where it Really Matters

When it comes to matters of weight, losing it is what is uppermost in the minds of many, and this is understandable. Physical fitness is important. However, while many of us pay attention to our physical bodies, not that many wonder about the state of their inner man. Is your spirit man malnourished and unhealthy, or fit and vigorous?

I recently finished Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series (AH-MAY-ZEEEEEEEN!) and I was touched by how much of scripture Hadassah had committed to memory! Now, I know a lot of verses by heart- I was a star student in Sunday School- but this is more than memorizing verses. She knew whole passages, and she knew them deep in her heart, not in her head.

In one scene, a woman was reciting Hosea 6, and I was inspired to see Hadassah pick up where she left off. If you’ve never had this kind of communion with a fellow believer, you should try it. It’s incredibly fulfilling. Here’s an excerpt from that scene:

“‘Come, and let us return to the Lord;'” the woman whispered, “‘For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.'”

Voice trembling, Hadassah took up where the woman had stopped, reciting the words of the prophet Hosea. “‘Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord; his appearing is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us like the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth.'”

The woman took Hadassah’s hand. “Why is it only in darkness that we remember what sustained us even in the light? I have not thought of the words of the prophet since childhood, and now in this darkness they come to me more clearly than the day I heard them read.” She cried softly. “Jonah must have felt this same dark despair inside the belly of the whale.”

“Hosea was speaking of Yeshua and the Resurrection,” Hadassah said, without thinking.

That’s how this teenage girl, who hadn’t a single copy of scripture, was pouring the thing from her heart at various points in this book. Now, how does a girl come to know her Word? By taking it in!

Did you know that the main way the Jews celebrate Shavuot is by staying up all night to read scripture? That’s right; a night vigil, not to demand things from God or fight demons, but to soak in, and be filled up by God’s Word. I’m going to try this kind of vigil, have a Word-fest all night. Will you join me?

Many of the things we struggle with in our walk can be dealt with by the Word. When you gain weight in the spirit, which is where you need it, you reach a point where you become too fat for the yoke. Yes, the yoke shall be broken because of the fatness!

Literature, Spirituality

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I’m still reeling from the euphoria of Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series. Of course the love story was thrilling, but more vital were the lessons: unceasing communion with God, intercessory prayer, being attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, the importance of memorizing Scripture, the value of a single soul in the sight of God (and thus in the sight of our enemy the devil) and most importantly, the need for every Christian to know Whom they have believed, in a way that makes it impossible to deny Him- even when faced with death.

Precious little Hadassah paid the price for refusing to worship the Emperor. Instead of doing as she was commanded, she proclaimed Jesus the Christ the Son of the Living God, and received a death sentence for her faith. As she was led away I pondered the beheading of the Apostle Paul, the crucifixion of the Apostle Peter, the burning alive of countless Christians who were killed because of their faith in Jesus.

I recently found a note I would like to share.

The author is unknown, but is believed by some to be a young pastor in Zimbabwe who was later martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ:

“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit’s power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made — I’m a disciple of his. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.”

“I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean in his presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and I labor with power.”

“My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifices, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.”

“I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till he stops me. And, when he comes for his own, he will have no problem recognizing me … my banner will be clear.”

Are you practicing churchianity, or are you following Christ for real? Selah; pause, and calmly think of that…

But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” ~ 2 Tim 2:19