Friday, April 2, 2010


The phone rang. As I picked up the receiver, I recognized my friend from a nearby town. He offered to meet me in the early evening for a physically challenging “jog”. I had just begun to be more serious about caring for the body God had entrusted me, and welcomed the encouragement. This man had attended our church, and had been faithful to encourage me in the Lord.

But jog with him? He was a disciplined runner, regularly running more than I ever did. He didn’t weigh as much as I did. I could never keep up! I wanted to be “private” in my exercise, even though I wanted to make sure others knew I was doing it!

I thought I could lead a church; preach; teach; play an instrument; visit and encourage people; keep our yard presentable, and so on, but I couldn’t exercise in front of someone I knew! What would he think of me? He would know that I wasn’t self-disciplined. He would know that I was too fat because I was too lazy. I knew I couldn’t lose weight enough to satisfy him. On top of that, I couldn’t free myself from these mind pictures!

I also felt that he wasn’t walking as close to the Lord as he should be. (Was that a word from the Holy Spirit? The irony!) My heart kept thinking, “How can I trust him?” He is arrogant, self-sufficient, and frequently speaks of how he is more successful than I!

I just couldn’t make the mental transition over my mental block! Momentarily I acknowledged that I might just have a blind spot concerning his willingness to jog with me! But I avoided it!

You see, I didn’t really know that he was thinking all of these things, but my heart “felt and told me” that he was! His normal “heart” was speaking a message to me that I didn’t like, but that did not necessarily mean that he had not chosen to be different that day!

Psalm 45:1 was revealing that “my heart” was writing its words on “his heart”.

David’s words in Psalm 36 seemed to reflect the real conflict, (see KJV and NIV): “An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.” My heart just knew it, this was a “set-up”!

But God’s spirit didn’t agree with my heart. The Holy Spirit took the side of the Psalmist, “Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.”

I had promised to meet him, so, I was stuck, right? As I prepared to meet him, my fear got the best of me, so I tried to practice up a little! How foolish! You can’t correct a life-time of “stinking thinking” with one deliberate exercise routine! This meant that when I met him, I was already half worn out!

I wasn’t thinking properly! If he had been “worried” about incapabilities, he would never have invited me at all! He had been sent to encourage me, and I blew it! Truly, a lazy person cannot spend all the money he made winning the lottery! (Proverbs 12:27)

God doesn’t ask us about our abilities and accomplishments – He sends Christ to us! Our lives either have the potential of being hidden “with Christ in God”, or already have it deposited to our spiritual bank account, on the basis of faith! In fact, it delights Him, when we bring our incapabilities to Him!

I should have viewed my friend as being sent by God to help me in some of the most difficult experiences of my life, but I didn’t!

I am writing this at a coffee shop on a major intersection where an accident just occurred. From what I can tell, it looks like a young person on a bicycle challenged heavy traffic, causing a couple of vehicles to collide while attempting to avoid hitting him. The thought in my heart once more turned to Psalm 36. Perhaps he, too, felt he was invincible and could challenge automobiles, not realizing that they would do all they could to avoid him!

Could this have been my problem as I went to meet my friend? I was no match for his chosen compassion towards me! I was probably fighting the Lord Himself. No wonder I failed!

I forgot the words of this scripture: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”