Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem.
Sit in a place of honor.
Remove the chains of slavery from your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion. Isaiah 52:2
The final chapter in the book Run to Win by Christine Caine is all about how winners rise up. During a race, you can fall down, but that does not mean you are by any means out of the race. As I said before and so has Christine, the only way you are out of the race is if you put yourself out of the race by quitting. We all have fallen short of the glory of God. We are never going to be perfect as long as we are in this fleshly body. The world won’t let us do that, but we can’t allow ourselves not to press on and get up to move to the next part of the race. God has already forgiven you for everything you have done that is shameful, that is wrong, that hurt people. You have to find forgiveness in yourself and move on and get up from the fallen position you find yourself in. I remember when I fell the first time I was trying to run a trail run. Trail runs are more difficult and challenging than a regular run on paved asphalt. There are rocks, roots of trees and steep up hills as well as steep down hills. You can fall very easy. I tripped over a root one time and tried very hard to get my legs under me again, but was not fast enough and so I hit the ground and turned just so I would not hit my face in the dirt. I injured and bruised my hip. I decided to shorten my training session and head for the house. Had it been a race, I would have gotten up and ran to finish.
As we run our believers marathon we have to be certain to get back up and rise up to continue our race and not quit. The above verses give us some ideas of dusting ourselves off and continue our run. The first thing that is mentioned is just plain get up. God will extend a hand to you, but He is not going to pull your weight and lift you on your feet. You have to use your leg muscles and your arm muscles to get up fully on your feet, then God will give your that extra movement to complete the stand. Most people stay on the ground, feel defeated, and don’t try to get up. They come up with all kinds of excuses like, “this is the way God made me.” The enemy uses these ideas to get in our head that we cannot run the race anymore, that we are out of it. The most satisfying thing you can do in your life is when you are at a low point, get up and get going. It’s easy to say, but hard to do and sometimes may take years to get to that point, but God will make it happen if we trust in Him. It took me 37 years to discover that all it took was getting up out of my chair and putting movement in my life to find significance. God’s will for our lives is to be significant, so we can show others how significant God is.
The next thing that happens is honor. God honors our victory in getting up and rising. Honor starts when God reaches down and we grasp His hand up. God not only sees what we can become, but He honors it when we take a leap of faith. What makes us stand tall is knowing God has our back no matter the obstacles life can throw at us. Honor that God gives us is the favor of knowing that we have given our all to get ourselves back in the race.
The next step and blessing that happens is we are no longer a slave to that which knocked us down. Yes, some sin is hard to move past, but God in time will remove that root of sin. You have been bought with an eternal price and that was Jesus dying on the cross to finish the sin and shame once and for all. What moves us forward is knowing and realizing the anchor of the past is no longer in the ground in which we fell, but firmly planted in God. It’s like tossing our anchor forward into a speed boat named Jesus. You see, it takes an intentional decision to remove the chains of sin from around our neck. God cannot make our choices, I prayed for years to have God give me control over my eating and exercise, but He cannot make the correct choices I did. He can bless my efforts and give me the favor and honor we talked about in the last point. Note it says to remove the chains from around your neck. It doesn’t say that God is going to remove them. We have the choice if sin or not sin.
Rising up, allowing God to give us favor, and removing the chains of sin and slavery from around our neck will bring us the forward movement God desires for our life. Running your path in freedom is surrendering it all for the one who gave it all on the cross.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.