Friday, 23 February 2018

Raising The Bar

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.

      Vision gives us the strength to go for it! Keeping the vision going or keeping it at the forefront of our lives takes courage and discipline. As the Proverb says, it takes restraint. We can look at the job restraint does as a guard rail that keeps the vision on the track it is to take. 
      However, walking along in our faith with no vision will create a loosey-goosey type of walk. The lowest common denominator becomes normal because our thoughts and doctrines become unrestrained. No vision, no substance! Know your vision and you will know what to do. Isa. 30:21 Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you, a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left.
      How do we keep the vision God has put within us ahead of us in life? We raise the bar to a place where we need God to help us reach it. The human condition is lazy at best and pathetic at worst and cannot be depended upon for raising the bar to God's standards.
      Many have become so insipid in their Christian walk that they are stubbing their toe on the bar they are walking over because the bars of achievement have been set so low that no effort is needed to attain a vision.

      Lazy faith, lazy spirit, lazy hearts, lazy attitudes - call it what you want - the bar of our Christian walk will have to be set higher. We need to line up our hearts and thoughts with God's because He is the author of our vision. Isa. 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
      Can we depend on the vision God has put within us? Can we raise the bar to where God ordains our life to be? Yes, we can. Psalm 139:16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. God saw me before I was alive; therefore, I can go forth and give my strength to the vision of God for my life. I can raise the bar of expectation and achievement in Christ because the Lord is with me. Deut. 31:6 Be strong and courageous; don't be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.
      I recently had to raise the bar for my health. I had been faithful to walking every day and playing racquetball twice a week for years. I could not seem to get through this health wall, no matter how faithful I was to this routine. I was talking with a strength trainer where I play racquetball and he said that I needed to up the game, so to speak, because my body had become comfortable and used to the routine I was on. He actually said, "You are going to have to make your body scream like a girl to trick it out of its complacency." That sounded drastic to me but I said, "By the grace of God, I'll do it!" 
      For the next fifteen weeks in a row I got into heavy weight training three times a week, racquetball twice a week, running in the snow or a park path two times a week and walking twice a week, then floor exercises every other day when at home. All these exercises overlapped and kept me going as I determined to reach the bar that was so high for me personally that I needed God to help me get to it. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
      About the ninth week of this new bar-height regiment I was reaching for, I broke through the so-called health wall. By the end of the fifteenth week, I felt good enough to raise the bar again and set up a new routine for the next fifteen weeks. It looks like a lifestyle change is coming, even though I am sixty-four years young. I am happy I did it because I am going to keep heading forward. I have the momentum. Oh yah, there were quite a few times I was screaming during the fifteen weeks of concentrated workouts.
      What am I saying? Raise the bars in your life, no matter what you are doing or going through, and get busy with living.
 Deut. 30:19 Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
      Stop putting the bars so low you end up tripping over them because you no longer see them in front of you. Start speaking out some visions to the Lord that will make your heart happy. An unrestrained lifestyle will only bring complacency and a place of unmotivated existence. Put some Godly vision in your backbone and step forward in faith and shout, "I can do this in Jesus name!"
 Prov. 29:18  Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law. Just go for it!

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