Monday, July 12, 2010

Reality Training

I recently came in the room to find my husband watching "Rocky" on TV. We couldn't help but laugh together at this over-the-top 'testosterone laden' creation by Sylvester Stallone that first aired in 1976. It is hard not to get caught up in this 'underdog makes it big' film and like everyone else, I was ready to down a few raw eggs as the theme from Rocky starts to play and the Italian Stallion courageously goes into his season of training.

I couldn't help but think how different it is for us as believers as we enter our seasons of training. There usually is no motivational music playing and it would seem no one to cheer us on in our preparation. But, Holy Spirit is a great cheerleader and never tires or gives up on urging us toward maturity. In fact, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit orchestrate many of our battles so we can try out our skill at using the weapons He has given us.

This is a really different thought for me. In the past I never related much to the "warrior" terminology and usually ran from anything looking like a fight. But we are told to "fight the good fight of faith".

After a while it becomes obvious that God seems to like using "battle" terminology and it becomes even more obvious that the battle is real. As children we could call "time out" if we became tired of the game or found ourselves on the losing side, but there is no "time out" in real life.

Thankfully, Father left us anything but defenseless, and much of life is about discovering who we are and discovering our weapons and learning to use them. Many times we find ourselves pushed back into the "game" before we feel ready, but it is in the struggle that we find that Father has been training us all along for the battle in which we find ourselves.

Like Neo in "The Matrix", as we learn and grow in our true identity, our confidence grows to pick up our weapons and skillfully use them to execute vengeance on the enemies of the Kingdom of God. Romans 8:19 says "the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed". Later in vs. 22 it says that "the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth...."

All of this waiting, expectation, and groaning is calling up something deep within us as the sons and daughters of God. As deep cries out to deep, we find ourselves awakening to the glory that Father placed within each one of us. Before our rebirth we had 'fallen short of the glory', but since we have been made 'new creations' the glory has been restored to those who are in Christ. We have been made in the image of the Glorious One.

We are also finding that the battle is very different than we first believed and is more about being than doing, and more about knowing than learning. The weapons we have been given many times seem foolish at first glance, and it is the childlike and humble of heart who will learn to use them. The sword in our hand is much lighter than we thought and rises and falls as it is carried by the very breath of Holy Spirit. Our mouths are called to decree, agree, shout, proclaim, or laugh in sync with Him. Our feet have learned to dance on injustice, release joy into the atmosphere, or bring the Gospel of peace.

Again in "The Matrix", Neo was offered two pills. The blue pill would allow him to stay in his comfort zone and a blissful ignorance to accept the reality that he saw all around him. The red pill would lead him into truth and a reality that would require risk and the ability to operate in a realm not yet known to him. We are very much like Neo, and faced with a choice to accept this natural realm as our reality, or see with our eyes of faith the reality of the Kingdom of God all around us and in us. Our training is really "reality training" as we learn to see, sense, perceive, and hear from a different realm. We have been invited into an adventure of epic porportions. As the writer of Psalms 149 so aptly describes it, "this is the glory of all His saints".

"The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is', or 'There it is', because the Kingdom of God is within you."
Luke 17:20-21

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