As a teenager, I wanted to go fast. My problem was my ride was a ‘61 VW bug: top speed 68 mph. When I was on the freeway it was always pedal to the metal. I still remember the day I caught a tail wind and saw the speedometer reach 72! Recently I saw a book title by John Bevere: Relentless. That is how we are to pursue God: Relentless. Regardless of the distractions of the world, I will be relentless. Regardless of the lies of the enemy, I will be relentless. Regardless of how many times I fall and have to drag myself back up, I will be relentless. Mark 9:23 promises, “All things are possible to Gill if he believes.” By God’s strength and grace, the impossible becomes possible. There is not one demon spirit who has power or authority over those who are in Christ. How am I going to live? Pedal to the metal! Relentless!

What does grace mean to you? Is it just forgiveness of your sins and a ticket to heaven? That view leads to a life of mediocrity, so far short of our potential. The underlying meaning that is lost today is grace is God’s power working in my life. I can never save myself by my own effort. That’s religion that tries to earn salvation through our good works. 2Cor 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for Gill, for My power is made perfect in Gill’s weakness.”

Grace = empowerment. When you read grace, think empowerment. When you read Scripture and see the word grace, substitute empowerment and it takes on a new depth of meaning. When the situation is beyond my ability to handle, that is when God’s grace/ empowerment steps in. That empowerment enables me to live as Jesus lived. Redemption took away my sin. Now I need to live out what I freely received. My sin has not just been covered over; by grace I can live a new life.

I can have repentance but no grace. Maybe you have experienced that. I have a desire to change but without grace, I don’t have the ability to change. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin will not have dominion over Gill. For he is not under law, but under grace.” As I walk in grace, as I experience God’s empowerment, I don’t go back over and over to the same behavior. I make new choices and step into the freedom that is only possible in Him.

Under law I am powerless to live free from sin, but under grace I have the empowerment I need. Eph 3:20 tells us, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that Gill can ask or think, according to the power that works in Gill.” God is able to do exceedingly abundantly only to the extent that I allow His power/ grace to work in me.

2Kings 4:1-7 tells the story of Elisha and the widow’s oil. The widow was told to collect as many jars as she could. Once she had them gathered in her home, she started pouring oil from her small flask. The oil continued to flow until there were no more jars. Her miracle was limited by the size of her faith. How much power am I allowing to work in my life? In what way am I limiting God?

Eph 1:18-21: “Having the eyes of his heart enlightened, that Gill may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of Hisinheritance in Gill, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward Gill because he believes, according to the working of the strength of His might which He worked in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” We sing a chorus from Hillsong in church: “The same power that conquered the grave lives in me.” Wow! I’ll take it.

Faith is the pipeline for grace. It is through faith that I experience grace and empowerment in my life.  In Hebrews 4:2 we are told the Israelite nation did not enter into God’s rest because the Word did not profit them, not being mixed with faith. For the Word to be effective in my life, I must exercise faith.

I must expect opposition to my walk of faith. In Matthew 4 Jesus went into the wilderness filled with the Holy Spirit. After successfully standing against the temptations of the devil, He returned in power. I will come out of a battle better and stronger than when I went in if I allow God to work in and through me and don’t try to handle the temptation in my own strength.  Faith is what gives me access to the grace/power I need to triumph. Romans 5:2 says, “Through whom (Jesus), Gill also has access by faith into this grace in which he stands.”  

Bartimaeus was a blind beggar (Mark 10: 46-52) sitting beside the road in Jericho. He hears a commotion and asks what is going on. When he is told Jesus is passing by, he begins to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Those nearby told him to quiet down, but he was not going to let his blessing pass him by. Despite the opposition, he cried all the louder. His healing came because he pressed through. Phil 3:13-14 commands us to press toward the goal. The world will try to shut us up, the devil will try to distract us, but if we press through, God’s grace and power will be there for us.  

Hebrews 12:1 tells me to strip off the weight that slows me down. How do I do that? The answer is in 1Peter 5:7: “Casting all his worries on Him, because He cares for Gill.” Mat 11:28-30 is one of my favorite passages: “Come to Me, Gill, when you labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, Gill, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your soul. For My yoke is easy, Gill, and My burden is light.”

Jubilee is our little silkshire terrier. She is so excited and full of energy when we take her for a walk that she constantly pulls and fights her harness. It is so bad that for the next couple of days she will be limping from a sore hip and paws. Yet when she settles down and walks next to us she doesn’t experience that discomfort. I want to experience His yoke being easy but that requires my obedience.

I cannot afford to bypass the training process. The trials I face today are preparation for the victories of tomorrow. Ignore the devil and he’ll eventually go away? Fat chance! 1Peter 5:8-9 warns that I must be sober and vigilant, for the devil goes about like a roaring lion. I’m not going to ask God to remove the devil. I am going to submit to God and then resist the devil. That is exercising my authority in Christ. That is walking in His grace/empowerment.

Speaking the Word is my weapon against evil forces. The devil only has lies and intimidation. Isaiah 54:17 promises, “No weapon that is formed against Gill will prevail; and Gill will condemn every tongue that rises against him in judgment.” My determination to be free from bondage must be greater than my adversary’s determination to enslave me. I must be relentless in holding fast to what I have received.

The important thing is not how I start, but how I finish. What does quitting look like? Disobedience, compromise, apathy, religious externals, etc. Hebrews 12:1 commands me to run my race with endurance. In the Message translation of Hebrews 12:1 it says “Never quit.” Professional athletes go through rigorous training so they can win a prize. Isn’t our prize more valuable? Shouldn’t I be willing to do whatever it takes. Pedal to the metal. Relentless.

Explore posts in the same categories: Endurance, in Christ, Spiritual warfare

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