Thursday, July 17, 2008

Resistance Training

1 Tim 4:8-11 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things.

Heb 12:11-12 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.

Have you ever waded in a river or stream where the current rushed around you, or the ocean with it’s waves relentlessly pounding against you? The struggle and pressure can provide quite a workout. After such waterobics the muscles can seem weak and tremble with exhaustion. Ultimately the benefit is added strength.

Over time these spells of opposition, whether lifting a heavy load and carrying it, standing beneath the weight of it for some period of time, or the course of opposing force can strengthen our feeble knees.

The stressful current of the world presses harshly against us and it seems at any moment it will carry us away. We live in a hostile environment, and the prince of this world would like nothing more than to steal, kill, and destroy those of us serving the Prince of Peace.

I am often conflicted when I see good people go through tough times. It pisses me off. The last ten days has been one of those seasons for a dear friend. It was a flashflood of angst and illness.

Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

One of my very best friends on the planet went into the emergency room last week with a terrible headache. A day later we find out he had a tumor on/around his pituitary gland and pressing against his optic nerve. What the? He’s 42 years old in a couple of weeks, has a wife and two sons, and now he’s got to deal with this crap?!!!

What is so awesome is that our God doesn’t leave us to traverse these raging streams alone. I will try not to steal Barry’s thunder, because I know many of you will hear his testimony of God’s greatness in the near future. What I will say is this – no more tumor – lots of Glory for God. That is so cool.

Barry and family witnessed firsthand the love and grace of God that says, “I can and I will.” They witnessed firsthand the extension of the arms and legs of the Body of Christ. They witnessed firsthand the power of God manifested in the difficult circumstance transformed into a testimony.

They witnessed firsthand the power of God from His people loving and crying and praying and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. They witnessed firsthand the power of God in the bad report becoming the praise report. Benign. Caution. Peace. Rest. Wholeness. Soundness. MRI. Tumor - gone – all of it. Miracle. Going home whole. God is faithful.

I witnessed first-hand the graciousness of friends, family, and brothers, and sisters in the Lord rallying to Barry and family’s side. I witnessed first hand the application of faith before the verdict was in.
I witnessed firsthand the confession of faith regardless of the outcome.

I witnessed firsthand the intercession, the love, the tears, the stress on faces, the pain in expressions, the joy in their eyes, the hope in their voices, the songs, the healing, and the recovery. Thank you Jesus. Forever Faithful and True.

The enemy is defeated. We know this. We proclaim this. We believe this and procalim it again. But please also know this: Faith is not necessarily the absence of all fear and doubt, but the momentum of the seed of Light and Life growing inside the heart of the believer. It illumines the shadows and dispells the darkness and overtakes the storm with the Peace that comes from the Prince.

Faith understands that The Father is here and that is all I need know. Faith renews. My faith is renewed. The exercising of it builds spiritual muscles that brings strength to walk through raging waters if needed, and on top of it when necessary. My friend is well and I am filled with joy.

John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."


Travis Matheny said...

Good stuff this week Tim.

Tim Michael said...

preciateya meetin me out here on the water bro. I love that you said that in your blog. Great reminder bro.

Barry Garrett said...

overwhelmed by goodness... Barry

Anonymous said...

Would that His gift could be more prevalent in our society. We've all experienced losses but to witness the power of the Lord healing some loved one right before your eyes.

Well. Who could ever be so blessed?

That is sooo way cool to happen to your friend. You should be juiced for the rest of your life. Many of His miracles are not nearly so dramatic but if you were chosen to have that opportunity then count yourself doubly blessed. Your faith has been rewarded with a deed of undoubtable origin.

I'm glowing for you man.

The Trailing Arbutus

Tim Michael said...


I am glad we had time to intercede for Barry. We found out about Steve and Kim when it was "too late" to even approach the throne for His intervention in their circumstance.

You are so right - It is a gift to be able to pray, and yet even bigger gift to see the maifested Gory of God in a given circumstance. I thank you for rejoicing with us. I know the bitter-sweetness with which you do so. Love ya man.