Runners exercise with intentionality. They have a purpose. The same is true for swimmers and bikers. Athletes work out with a goal, or a purpose. They know where they are going & don't give up until they have crossed that finish line--and for truly successful athletes, they don't stop once they have finished the race....they simply set a higher goal & reach for it. That's how I want to live my life.
Training is not fun. I'm just being honest here. Getting up at 6:30 a.m. to go running is not what I jump out of bed excited for every morning. I choose to get out of my comfy bed to workout because I have experienced how it makes me feel afterwards. After I work out, my mind is clear and I feel like I can face anything that day. I feel refreshed and energized. The same goes for going to a whole 'notha level. I want to keep growing because I know what it feels like when I conquer something I have been working on. I know how it feels when I reach the top of a mountain, face a fear, or mend a relationship. I feel on fire....passionate....excited.
It's easy to get burned out though. That's why growing begins with a choice. Growing isn't a feeling. It's not something we can dream about & wake up to. Growing in Christ is an intentional decision--like setting your alarm clock, getting out of bed, lacing up your shoes, and running out that door. You have to take that first step.
"Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: for yet a little while, and He who is coming will come & will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my Soul has no pleasure in him." Hebrews 10:35-38, New King James
God's Word makes it very clear that we need to run with endurance. In the verse above, the Hebrews writer tells us to walk down this dusty trail called life with confidence & to not give up. Christ finds no pleasure in quitting. Ouch. There is nothing easy or sugar-coated about the above four verses.
God-confidence [God con-fi-dence] (verb): the deliberate choice to rely on Jesus Christ for everything; not a feeling of euphoria or false confidence; a complete trust in God's plan.
As we have been discovering, going to a whole 'notha level requires a choice. Right now you & I are at a turning point: I can only choose one of two paths to take. I can either keep living how I always have or I can change. The latter is hard, but so worth it.
How Can I Choose To Go To A Whole 'Notha Level?
- Get on your knees. James 4:10 says, "Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet." Be honest with God. Talk to Him about where you are and ask Him where He wants you to be. Ask Him to change you into the woman He wants you to be.
- Be your own worship leader. Worship is not Sunday morning based. You do not need a praise band to "lead" you in worship. Worship is between you and the One who created your very being. Express your love for Him in your own unique ways. Praise His Name. Make a playlist of your favorite worship songs & jam out on your way to work. Be still and simply listen for His voice. Dance. Walk on the beach & thank Him. Smile. Cry. Raise your hands. Get on your knees. Praise Him.
- Truly embrace His everlasting, never-ending, crazy love for you. Once we truly grasp this truth, our very beings change. How could we truly believe that the God of the universe loves us PASSIONATELY & not be changed?!
- Ask Him to stretch & grow you. Yep, this step will definitely help push you into the "growth area." Have you ever noticed that when you ask God to give you patience, you end up running into a million and one situations that make you lose your patience in like five seconds?!
- Jump, then fall. This one analogy has always stuck in my mind: I am standing on the edge of a cliff. God is beckoning me, calling me to jump into His arms. Once I finally jump and free-fall into His arms I feel an everlasting joy that completely overtakes the fear that engulfed me while I was standing on the ledge. Jump....then fall into His arms. He won't let you down. I promise.
I want to be passionate....on fire for God. I am sick and tired of living day-to-day. I want to have a purpose and something that I fight for. I want to live like I'm dying. I want to live like this is my temporary home. I want to live like a woman is is crazy loved by her Creator. I want to walk in God-confidence. I want to run with endurance. I don't want to give up. I want to grow even when it hurts. I want to keep moving and pushing forward...even when life knocks me down and knocks the wind out of my sails. I want to get up and get back in the race. I want to go to a whole 'notha level.
Choosing to change is choosing to run with endurance. Change doesn't happen in three seconds. Change happens after each and every mile you choose to keep running. Going to a whole 'notha level is a process....not a destination. It's about running with endurance this race marked before us. (Hebrews 12:1)