Moral muscle

As I've been reading over Paul's writings, gleening the meaning from them and studying them deeply, I've become totally strengthened and inspired in my walk with God. Take the these following bits, for instance; the Lord really showed me something through these, all for the better, God just keeps improving my life. :)

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them--living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.

Yeah, you know, I've been trying too much to do this on my own. Thank God [literally!] that do-it-yourself righteousness is futile and worthless. Instead of fighting this constant battle on my own --this battle between doing good and sin tripping me up--all I've got to do is accept God and what he's doing in my life. That's real help. I'm glad it's that easy, because I'm fed up with the crap the world spews, and the constant battle going on in the flesh due to that crap in the world. With God's Spirit living inside, it's been like a breath of fresh air for me.

Those who enter into Messiah's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Messiah, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

I really loved this part of Paul's letter, where he's basically saying, "folks, it's tough now, but keep-on-keepin'-on!" because Paul knew that worldwide acceptance of the Messiah was just around the corner.

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us--an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him! That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Boy, was Paul right or what?! (So very right, in fact, that I can't help but wonder whether God showed the future to him personally. That, or the man had some extraordinary faith and foresight!) That persecuted little bunch of folks who loved the Messiah exploded all over the map of the world. Here we are today, and things are "much easier" for us to know that same faith those folks were being killed for. Of course, the world isn't free from persecution and there still exists people who hate God and hate people who follow the Messiah, our master Jesus, but I know that another revolutionary turn-for-the-better is just around the corner once again. All part of the plan, folks. "Every knee will bow", as it's written. I'm really looking forward to that revolution for God, that will be awesome.

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our human condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us--who was raised to life for us!-is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing...

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing--nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable--absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Sweet. I can't wait! God is living, God is awesome, God is here, today. That's all I need.


  1. Excellant post Judah! God is indeed awesome. The last part of your post reminds me of when Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego into the furnace if they didn't bow down and worship the golden idol. They replied to him, "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." They were so confident that nothing could separate them from the love of their God that it didn't matter what happened in them furnance; their God would deliver them.

  2. Hey Gary, good to hear from you, it's been awhile.

    It seems to be a theme throughout history, where the people that actually knew God--rather than those who just talk about Him--put out an unparalled, all-or-nothing faith and trust that God will take care of them. That is something amazing and is evidence of not only God's existence, but also evidence of God intervening in natural events to take care of the people that love him. That is awesome.

  3. Now THIS is a post worth reading!! Woohoo!

  4. Hi Judah,

    I haven't been blogging or hanging out at CP very much lately. I took a new job recently that involves more mechanical and test engineering and no programming. It also involves much more physical activity so I don't spend much time at my desk. By the time I get home, I am too tired to play on the computer. It may sound like I am complaining, but I really do love the job. :)

    I am looking forward to blogging some more. I also feel like God wants me to teach a class, so I am trying to prepare some material. I am not sure, at this point, about when or where. I will wait on God's timing.

    Forever Forgiven and Alive in the Spirit,

  5. Hey that's great Gary, hope the new job works out well for you.

  6. Hi Judah~

    My name is Amber and I am new to blogging! I live in Bloomington, MN as well and am also a believer in Jesus Christ!

    Just wanted to say hello and if you'd ever like to come and check out my blog please do! My blog is:

    I have my own Shaklee business (health & nutrition) and that is why I started to blog so that I could share it with others!

    Look forward to maybe hearing back from you!

    Great looking family! Just makes me want to SMILE!!!!


  7. Hey thanks for the kind words Amber. Looks like you've got a great family there as well. :)