What might God be waiting to give us if we could just rest in reality shaped by him? What significant things might we discover if we forgot ourselves on purpose and joined in the general dance? (Smith, Mandy. “Unfettered” pg 79)
Day 21 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Ukranian’s legendary President Zelenskyy will be addressing Congress today to appeal for more aid. His biggest plea is for NATO to establish a “no-fly” zone over Ukraine to help make this a fair fight. This brave soul is pleading to the world and, as the world watches the people of his country being slaughtered every day, how are we going to react if Putin succeeds in his monstrous conquest and kills this amazing man? How is that going to haunt our souls? How are we going to be judged for every innocent life that is lost in this needless war while life goes on as normal on this side of the world? I ask you all to continue to keep the country of Ukraine in your prayers, day and night.
Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day. A day I used to celebrate in revelry like most of the world. And then one day I read the truth about the Saint, and the work he did to turn the entire nation of Ireland from a polytheistic religion to one of the strongest Christian nations in the world. Starting tomorrow, I will be working long hours protecting the people and property of Savannah as millions descend on the city for the official return of St. Patrick’s Day after COVID caused the parade to be canceled for the last two years. Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the biggest in the south and draws military, first responders, and many others from across the nation to participate and march in the route. Savannah’s strong Irish community loves to show off their heritage in this event and soon after the parade ends, the partying begins. In fact, it begins before the parade, and will last throughout the weekend. While I will be trying to take a moment to remember the work of the original Saint Patrick, I will be dealing with all these misguided souls who are lost in those worldly desires of drinking and partying. A world I was thriving in less than a decade ago.
This morning I went for a run. I listened to Elevation Church’s message from last weekend and I highly recommend you do the same by clicking the image below.
This was just the third time I had run so far this year. I usually get frustrated every time I run because I am out of shape. I began to think back on the height of my physical fitness physique. I used to be able to bench press 365 lbs; do three sets of ten weighted tricep dips with 135 lbs hanging from my waist; and run a mile and a half under 9 minutes. That was way back when I was 26 years old. I often yearn to be in that good of shape again, but today I had to remind myself: it took me ten years to get to that point. I began hitting the gym as soon as I had my driver’s license. I worked out five times a week, ran just as many days, if not more. I worked in an industry that required physical labor, intense physical labor, and I pushed myself every day to work faster, lift more, just do foolish things to my body in the pursuit to be the most productive worker of the company I worked for. It took a toll on my lower back and now I suffer from what I am sure is a herniated disc. I just have not verified it because I am not a big fan of doctors and our medical system, so I have not scheduled the MRI which would confirm what is limiting my mobility many days. I have just learned to deal with it.
I say all this because, today, I swallowed a hard pill. I finally let it sink in that I can not just lace up my shoes and do a run once a month and expect to even be close to where I was after ten years of training. I had spent ten years conditioning my strength. It will take me running, lifting and working out every day to even get close to where I was at the peak of my physical fitness.
The same goes for our spiritual health. You can not think that by picking up the Bible once a month, attend Church once a week, that it is going to get you in the best spiritual shape of your life. It takes daily commitment, daily practice, and consistent action to turn get your heart and soul in the best shape of its life. Daily prayer, daily reading of the Bible, taking daily action to listen to God and do acts of kindness. Saint Patrick did not turn the country of Ireland to Christ in a day, it took years. And before that, he spent years training his mind, body, and soul to prepare for the mission he undertook.
We are at constant war with the dark forces of existence. The world and the devil constantly want us to turn away from God and follow them. You have to condition yourself daily to walk in the light and, by doing so, you will make your faith stronger each and every day. You will begin to receive more blessings and be able to bless more people. You will see the wonder of God all around you and hear those soft whispers from the Holy Spirit. God will walk with you each and every day. Let’s all get in the best spiritual shape of our lives. Let’s start training to live a life where we can have that same Holy Power to shape the world, to bring a true form of Christianity back into this side of eternity, to light a fire of revival across this land. Let us unite in our fight for freedom from the darkness. Our unity will be the light on top of the hill for the entire world to see.
Dante Bowe joined for King & Country on my favorite track from their new album. Entitled “Unity” this song is a powerful anthem about the Church doing the work to show the world we are united in Christ and united in our purpose and mission to save the lost, the broken, the sinners, the sick, the meek and mild. I invite you to join me today for that same purpose. Read the entire Bible. Take on the Common Sense Reborn challenge. Buy Mandy Smith’s book “Unfettered” and be enlightened by her wisdom and beautiful teachings. Do Saintly things for Saintly purposes.