Yes, there will be sweat……..

Week twelve is upon us in the rehab journey of 2013.  It’s a big week because the physical therapist is ready to start strengthening my shoulder.  We have been on the “no resistance” program until the rotator cuff surgery is “fully healed”.  Now the real work can begin.  It’s been pretty easy so far, mostly stretching and a little strength work, but not much.  The rebuilding phase is now in full motion, it’s time to……sweat.  I won’t mention here that I have actually been swimming full stroke for a couple weeks now, because the doctor would not approve of that maneuver.  Did I just confess that?  Oops, I need to reread the lesson on patience.

Talk is cheap.

It’s one thing to say you want to improve your life/work/marriage/habits/shoulder/etc, it’s an  entirely different thing to do something about it.  A belief I have about men is this:  men do what they WANT to do!  When a man really WANTS something he will make it happen.  If he doesn’t WANT to, he won’t.  My personal example:  for many years I was carrying 20 extra pounds of body weight.  I would whine and grumble about how fat I was and how terrible I looked.  I would wear baggy shirts and keep them untucked.  I squeezed into my pants and refused to move up in size.  It was awful, yet, I wasn’t willing to do what it would take to make the change.  Frequently,  Carol would look at me funny when I grabbed a bag of potato chips.  I knew what that look meant; “You can’t complain about your weight, and then eat like that!”.  She was right.  The fact was I didn’t WANT to lose the weight.  I wanted the weight to just “fall off” of me (and I may or may not have taken a lot of those “fat burning” supplements).  I didn’t WANT to pay the price that it takes to shed the unwanted pounds.

When I finally decided to lose the weight, I did.  Only because I WANTED to.   I had to work through the pain and embarrassment of being so out of shape.  I had to persevere past the aches of starting over.  We must take this same approach in our spiritual condition.  If we really WANT to experience more of God’s direction, hope and wisdom, we will have to go looking for it. Don’t be surprised if you have to sweat to get what you WANT.

“Call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”  Proverbs 2:3b-5

This proverb gives us instruction for finding the wisdom of God.  It tells us that it is up to us to discover it.  These are not passive instructions.  Just like anything else in our lives; it is there if we WANT it.  It will make us uncomfortable and we will have to labor to achieve our goal.  I think God designed it that way, because anything that has value comes at a price.  That which is precious is not easily attained.  God’s son was a free gift to mankind, there was nothing required of us.  His wisdom however is another thing altogether.  If we WANT that, we will have to work for it.

1.  Call out/cry aloud:  If we WANT to: find wisdom, get stronger, eat healthier, become more content, resolve conflicts, understand our wife, rebuild our marriage, etc.; we will have to get outside of our comfort zone and ask for help.  These instructions are obviously written because God knows us.  He knows that we are too proud and stubborn to get assistance.  He knows that if we WANT it, we will have to do something about it.  “Ask and it will be given unto you,” Matthew 7:7a.  If you have difficulty with your finances, then find someone you know who’s good at it and receive their input .  If you have marriage issues (most of us) find someone you trust to walk through life’s conflicts with.  There is always support available, it’s up to me to call for it.

2.  Look/search:    The analogy here is a picture of a treasure hunt.  What would you do if someone told you there was a million dollars hidden in your house?  Can you imagine the lengths you would go to hunting for that prize?  Jackhammering up the concrete?  Tearing out the walls/ceilings/flooring?  Hours would turn into days, days into weeks, weeks into months….. The amount of blood, sweat and tears would not matter if you could find it!  That is precisely what looking for wisdom should consist of.  We must be willing to get out of our recliner and seek Him out.

What makes you perspire spiritually?

  • One on one counseling?
  • Small group transparency?
  • Reading God’s word?
  • 10-15 minutes of just quiet?
  • Scripture memory?

Sometimes I sit for five minutes in quiet asking the Lord for understanding.  I get bored, tired and frustrated and then complain that, “He just doesn’t talk to me”.  On occasion I open my Bible and expect His wisdom to filter into my brain while I speed read.  The knowledge of God cannot be accessed like a fast food restaurant.  There is a price to pay:  time, energy, resources and ……..sweat.

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