Sunday, October 23, 2022

Muscles Need Muscles

Muscles Need Muscles
by David Brenneman

Each morning the word 'interesting' seems to encompass what I find myself reading.  I look at what I'm reading, and it's got to only be the Spirit showing me what I just read and how it really does have something to do with what I am going through or have asked others to pray about.  In today's reading, this is certainly no different.  

Yesterday I was going through some heavy anxiety.  It brought me to the brink of just wanting to cry so many times that I couldn't count.  I am in such a great group of men on Saturday's.  I reached out to them to indeed aide in 'bearing one another's burdens'.   

I don't have that kind of memory that when things hit me, I begin to remember Scriptures.  Something about today's reading, though, taught me what's behind 'bear one another's burdens' that seems to have been lost on several generations.  

Ever get a cramp?  What most get told to do is besides look at your potassium levels, is to massage the area slowly.  Get the offending muscles to relax and slowly that pain goes away.  

In the body of Christ THAT is what bearing one another's burdens does.  In Christ we have the ability to take one part of the body of Christ and bring it to the aide of other parts of the body.  You use the hands and feet to help those parts of the body that need assistance.  

Reading in Jeremiah you get an understanding of what the definition of difficult really is.  Jeremiah was known as the 'weeping prophet'.  He was told early on by the Lord Himself that he was indeed going to face an obstinate people.  He was going to face people who really won't like what he was going to say.  He was going to come face to face with disappointment, depression, anxiety, everything. 

Dr. Stanley's comments in between what I was reading really helped me this morning.  More muscles helping muscles. 

Jeremiah 32:27 NASB "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for me?" - "Abraham had to learn this lesson (Gen. 18:14). Mary had to learn this lesson (Luke 1:37). Peter and the other disciples had to learn this lesson (Luke 18:27). And so do we."

What God does to is is really FOR us.  We do indeed often find our own way into troubles.  Sometimes it's not us at all but FOR us in order to lean more on God than us. 

Jeremiah 32:39 NASB "I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always." - "Everything God does for us, He does for our good. He gives us a heart to love Him, a will to obey Him, and a spirit to fear Him for our own good and the good of our children."

Jeremiah 32:42 NASB "Just as I brought all this disaster on this people, so I am going to bring on them all the good that I am promising them." - "God keeps all his Promises, both for judgement and blessing--but He loves to bless His people, not judge them. He will not shrink from judging us (1 Peter 4:17), but would much prefer to bless us."

One other point he makes is "Journeys through the valley are both inevitable and painful. However they are meant to be profitable."

Our trials in life are meant to do something in us to bring us closer to God.  To become more like Him. Our santification is going to happen.  It's not a maybe thing.  We often take the off ramps in life when we should have stayed on the road, but even in this God still uses those times to do something towards our sanctification. 

As I was telling the men yesterday, I don't entirely undrestand or know what my triggers are that cause my anxiety.  Sometimes it's a fear of returning to what the stress was like that we left.  Sometimes it's a place.  Sometimes it's people that just look familiar enough to some whom I left behind.  As strange as it may seem, Dr. Sidney Freedman of M*A*S*H said something about triggers can be anything. Sights, sounds, smells...smells often being the most powerful. 

We start with Genesis.  God said it wasn't good for man to be alone. A key reason is eventually his own thoughts would take him where he shouldn't go.  We read later in the Bible that Jesus said He didn't trust Himself to man because He knew what was in the heart of man.  

We may not know what's behind what we feel but He does. 

"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men." - 1 Timothy 2:1 NASB.

Not just for salvation's sake as it mentions in verse 3 of 1 Timothy 2, but for everyone.  No part of the body of Christ was meant to go it alone. In the 1960's and 1970's onward we were taught to laugh at 'Thing' on the old television show "The Adam'sFamily".  The disembodied hand that seemed to be popping up out of a box in every room that had a mind of it's own.  Truth is we cannot and should not try to live this life alone apart from the rest of the body of Christ.  

After asking for their prayers, I could tell that God was answering them.  I could tell that the anxiety was leaving me.  

Was interesting that part of what we were talking about yesterday morning at the Men's Group had to do with personalities and personality profiles.  Whereas there's a decent foundation to be had in understanding those things, they don't necessarily define who we are as people.  I don't dwell on what those tests say or don't say about me anymore than I go around with my IQ number on my shirt or the Diploma's or Certifications, or any other documents of achievements that I have.  I am defined as who I am in Christ...these things from this world...will fade away.  They are non-transferrable to the next life.  My IPC Certificaitons, my Diploma, my this or that are of this world and that's about it.  In Christ I am a new creation.  I grow in Christ.  His aim is to make me more like Himself.

While my profile says things that likely do give rise to what I COULD be about 80 percent of the time, that other 20 percent can be anything else.  We have an enemy in this world that would love for any one part of the body to be feeling like it was cut off and separated from the rest.  He would love for us to be weighed down by this world and be ineffective.  He would love for us to think we can go it alone.  

Muscles need muscles to do things.  Even to heal wounds and soreness.  We need to be setting our minds on things above.  We need to be praying on things over things and through the things that hit us in life.  One sure thing that has happened in my life is that when the anxiety prayers increase.  

When we think we can go and do without praying first...we're in for trouble.  
When we think we can handle even the smallest of temptations alone...we are in trouble.
When we think we are the Scriptures say...take heed lest we fall.

Our strength is from the Lord because it IS the Lord's.  I know that part of my issues of anxiety are still the change from where we lived to where we do live now. The situations and people are just that drastically different.   God's still in the process of bringing in people that can help here.  Our desire is to grow in Christ.

Not that I go to any gym...but in those may or may not see or hear it said 'no pain no gain'.  It's going to be often through pain that we get over a mountain rather than God moving it.  "My grace is sufficient for power is perfected in weakness".   We may indeed have valley's to go through, but we are never alone in it. "I will never leave you nor forsake you".   

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