Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The Pinnacles - Reaching for the Prize
By Colleen Podmore
The other day I decided to walk to the top of a rocky outcrop called The Pinnacles on the Thames Peninsula. I made the decision to go and I began to prepare for the journey.
Finally, the day arrived and I found myself on the track walking along and I began to observe at least four different components that were required to work together for me to get to my destination. Of course I’m sure there are a lot more but today I would like to focus on just four and to make some spiritual parallels that will help us reach our spiritual goals as I reached my physical goal.
If I was missing just one of these components – I would not make it. If one was not working properly – I would not make it. All the four components that I will describe are equally important.
I noticed my heart beating fast as I climbed the steps on my walk. It is truly amazing that it should be able to beat faster and faster as the need requires. But when rested for a moment, slows down again. Where would we be if our hearts stopped beating for even a moment?
The Bible says that God gives us a new heart when we trust in Jesus. It completely changes us, the way we think, the things we do and it will beat forever! We are regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). Unless we are born again we will not see the kingdom of God (John 3:3) The Bible says ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God’ (Matt 5:8). In Psalm 50:10, David cries out for a ‘pure heart or a clean heart.’
How important it is for our bodies to have a strong heart and how equally important is it for our spiritual lives to have clean pure hearts. This is a worthy goal – what do I need to change to achieve it? What steps can I take?
As I continued to labour up the hill, my breathing became heavier; I should say by now I was gasping for air. My body was screaming out for oxygen. The oxygen was flooding into my lungs and was then transferred to haemoglobin where it was transported around my blood stream until it was used up by the cells requirements.
I was so grateful for the clean pure air, no pollution, no contaminants, no exhaust fumes. In fact my exhaust fumes – the carbon dioxide I breathed out, was taken up by the green plants and converted to oxygen – now there is a miracle!
The Holy Spirit is often referred to as being like wind and this is similar to the air/oxygen we breathe – essential for life – essential to our souls. Have I been breathing deeply of the Spirit? Sometimes we can breathe in other fumes, other influences apart from the pure oxygen of the Spirit.
This is a worthy goal – to spend more time under the influence of the Holy Spirit. What do I need to change to achieve more of Him? What steps can I take? What can I start doing? What can I stop doing?
As I was walking along the path it began to get steeper. My legs were aching but still functioning. It is amazing when we consider how we are put together.
Bones provide support for our bodies and help form our shape. Bones are both very light and very strong. Joints occur when two bones meet and allow for flexibility and movement. Muscles are masses of tough elastic tissue that pull our bones when we move.
Bones are fastened together with ligaments while cartilage protects the ends of bones so they don’t rub together. Muscles are fastened to bones with tendons.
Bones can break, muscles can weaken and joints can be damaged by injury and disease.
The Bible says we are the body of Christ – each part with a function to perform – 1Cor 12:12. Just as my body worked together in unity to get me to my physical goal; so must the body of Christ work in unity to get us to our spiritual goals. We need each other, we are no longer individuals.
There is no doubt about it; we are fearfully and wonderfully made. If God can create our human bodies to function as they do, imagine His work on building the church – beautiful! (Matt 16:18)
This is a worthy goal to attain – to be a part of the body of Christ. Maybe I could find a job in the church programme. Become like a well-functioning muscle so that meetings run smoothly. What do I need to change to achieve this? What steps do I need to take?
Finally, I had already decided that I was going to reach my physical destination, therefore my mind was focussed on my goal. I had direction and purpose and meaning.
The Bible says we are to ‘Love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength’ (Mark 12:30, Matt 22:37; Dt 6:5).
“Therefore I press on toward the Goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil3:14)
This is a most worthy goal to pursue. This is our mountain to climb: To love God!