This is how our morning went before going to the CMA Seasons of Refreshing in Sheridan this morning. ” Oh cool, spring is finally here, we get to ride to Sheridan to spend time with good friends. Wait a minute, it’s the middle of April and it is still dang cold out there, my bike is still firmly planted in the garage under its blanket and it is 30 blasted degrees outside. I may be a little unconventional at times, but the only thing I am riding to Seasons of Refreshing this morning is the heated car seat!
When we arrived in Sheridan (after a cozy, heated ride) we did find friends, we found enough food to feed all of Sheridan and we settled in to get spiritually fed. The lesson was on Inner Armor and concentrated on four major themes. How we are waged in a war (Ephesians 6:12), making sure we are fighting the real enemy and not each other, how we can stand strong in the Lord and remembering that the battle is not ours, it belongs to the Lord and we are victorious by our dependence on our Fathers power.
One of the statements in the workbook that caught me and gave me a lot to think on today was the thought that even as we are riding, fellowshipping and ministering to others, there is a battle being waged and we are in the center of it. It is a longstanding battle, it is an intense battle and it is relentless, whether we realize it or not.
I am sitting in the back row with Earl and looking around the sanctuary. There are all kinds of different people here who are brothers and sisters in the Lord and who by the very nature of the one we serve, are engaged in the Battle of the Ages.
The lesson went through the nature of the fight, but more importantly our strength and power in the Lord. I loved it when Hiram spoke of realizing who we are in Christ because it makes a difference in the battle. When we do this, we become certain that the battle isn’t ours, the battle belongs to the Lord. Fear becomes faith, worry becomes worship and problems become opportunities for praise. BEAUTIFUL!
So now that we are equipped we are to go out and change hearts. We have the game plan, we have the generalities of how to win this spiritual battle. We are ready to armor up and go fight the giants…………….but I sure don’t feel ready. I feel like God forgot to relay pertinent parts of the plan to me.
But being the normal human being I am I am sitting still looking around the room and thinking to myself. If I am ever in a spiritual situation like they are talking about, am I going to be able to apply what I learned today to the real world, the one I live in? The more I think about it the more sure I am that I don’t have what it takes to go out and change hearts in the course of my riding. It all sounds good when you are reading It in a book or sitting in a cozy and safe in church, but realit, as always, is a different story.
Then it slowly dawns on me that God is giving us the plan, not a detailed and wordy account but the important parts the parts we really need. By now the light bulb is steadily glowing brighter and I am wondering if that isn’t part of God’s plan after all?
We all know how much things have to be organized in my world, there has to be rhyme and reason and there has to be more than the next step revealed. I like every rung of the ladder visible with signs directing the way.
Maybe, just maybe that isn’t the way He intended this to work . Though every single one of us sitting in that church were more than ready to jump on our bikes and ride, I wonder how many feel ill equipped to deliver once we find the hearts we are searching for.
I am willing to bet, that God in His infinite wisdom, sees this as a power path in His plan to grow us into the spiritual followers of Christ we are capable of being. I truly believe that for God to give us a point by point detailed account of His plan would be to take away one of the best opportunities that we have to grow spiritually. When the plan is not detailed it forces us to dig in and search for answers, biblical answers. To find answers we are forced to look into the character of God, we have to look into our own hearts and (gasp) we have to open our Bibles.
I also believe that God provides support when we need it, He gives us steady support in our CMA family and friends. He gives us all we need to clothe ourselves in our Inner Armor. However, and make no mistake about this, He does expect us to do the necessary labor and homework to use what we have been given effectively. I had to agree with Hiram as he stood in front of us today and said that obedience is critical.
So get on your bike and draw some attention for Christ, God has an ARMY, after all, it’s His battle, not ours.
That my friends is why it is worthwhile to surround ourselves with those who can help support us as we head into this spiritual battle to change hearts.
Seasons of Refreshing 2014, a time for reflecting, learning, anticipating, hoping and mostly gratefulness.
And that is the reason I ride………………..