(My God-sent Bike in the Wilderness!)
During the days of solitude out in the wilderness—-with no distraction—I began to wonder what I was to do in this time of aloneness, for it seemed to me that it was easy to be kept blameless with no one else around, no distraction, no conflicts, no temptations, no adversity.
And then, that same day, I went out for a bike ride, and the wind was blowing atleast 20 mph in the direction I was riding—-it was awesome!!! I was free flowing in the wind for about 2 miles. 🙂
But as I neared the stop sign, I realized…..The wind is going with me now, but what about when I turn around!
When I turned around to go back, the wind was so strong, I couldn’t even ride the bike!! Every pedel I did, the wind knocked it back, and my riding became vanity immediately.
I felt extremely dumb, for lack of a better word. What did I think would happen!? I clearly wasn’t thinking!
It took about 5 minutes to get 2 miles down the road, but it took an HOUR to get back. I had to walk the bike some of the way, and some of the way I rode as fast as I could against the rushing wind.
About halfway through the way back, I found myself begging God to calm the wind, demanding it be done. Impatience, aggravation, and self-pity came bubbling out of my heart as I fought against the wind.
But then, as if the sun wasn’t shining bright enough on me already, I had a flash of revelation come over my mind, as I realized this was literally the “winds of adversity” coming against me!
And then I started remembering all the things I was studying, alone, in the wilderness, even that morning, about trial and adversity, and what the purpose of it all is.
And instead of begging God to make the wind stop, I started praying for the grace to make it back home. I was hot, thirsty, and it was starting to hurt from riding as fast as I could in spurts.
And I began to realize that no matter where we are, we are not free from trial and temptation. The mind alone is a sure ground for these things to come, daily.
Daily, whether around other people or completely alone—whether there be distractions of technology or none at all—-no matter what—we are still there with our own mind!
And I saw that if our mind is not in check and kept under control, all else will fall apart!
If my mind is in check, focused on things that are right, pure, good—like Philipians 4:8 says it should be—-then the way I perceive the “winds” will be in a way that glorifies God, and allows for me to grow and practice what I spend so much of my life on reading about.
For it began to dawn on me that what good has my much reading and studying done if I have not changed or put it into practice????
It is vain knowledge, and it means nothing.
And as I continued to wonder about these things this morning, I came to the startling revelation that for true change and growth, we MUST have :
- MISTREATMENT FROM OTHERS
Because it is only THROUGH THE FIRE, that the GOLD IS REALLY REFINED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Every trial, mistreatment, temptation, adversity, difficulty—–is all an opportunity for true change and refinement and growth in CHRISTlikeness!!!!!
There is no way we can change in absolute EASE and COMFORT!!!!
And it thus proves even further that we can read all the Bible and books we want—-but without the HARSH realities of daily life,and going through painful circumstances, and hard things, IT MEANS NOTHING!
There is no need to apply what is learned in the ease and comfort of complete solitude, except to our own disciplining of the mind.
But if we never have conflict with anyone, or if we never face a situation that is hard to deal with, or if our patience are never pressed—–then how are we to truly ever change and grow?!?!?!
If there is NEVER a challenge upon ourselves, then how can we ever become an OVERCOMER??????
Because given the much reading and studying, my interactions with other people and the way I responded to the literal wind, proved that my heart was not right, nor had any of the time spent done a single bit to change my heart.
In the Bible, we see that it was through MUCH tribulation that Paul and Peter, and others, were CHANGED! They suffered many hardships, even to the point of death—— and we read in their letters the wisdom they gained by going through such times. They were able to build up the churches with their experiences, and were able to comfort those who went through similar things. They were being conformed to the image of Christ–INWARDLY. They were broken outwardly, yet renewed in their hearts. With every trial came a new lesson. And they were able to write, leaving us this wisdom, that we are to count our trials as joy—for through them is produced our new character, and in the end teaches us how to be content, “lacking nothing”.
The knowledge is only the beginning—it is what we do with it that matters. We will not one day stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and be judged on how much we know, or how much we have learned, or how much we have read. No—– we will be judged by what we have DONE with it!
That alone is enough to shake me out of the idea that knowing much will save! It won’t! It is so easy to seek after knowledge, instead of a living Person.
But even so, if you look at Paul, he was a devout Pharisee before seeing the Lord—he was zealous and he was perfect in knowledge of the Holy scriptures. He knew every last word. And I think it is interesting that the Lord chose him to be the vessel to preach the gospel unto all nations. But see what the Lord did here—-he chose Paul, a very intelligent and zealous man who knew every last word—–and it was from and by this knowledge that the Lord revealed to Paul the mystery of His will—and gave him spiritual eyes to see and understand the spiritual principles and meaning of the old testament! Paul saw that the things in the Holy scriptures all pointed to Christ Jesus! And it was by his knowledge of those things before seeing the Lord, that the Lord used him and taught him in order to make him a preacher of the gospel. Paul was able to dispute with the Jewish leaders and pharisees because he knew the whole law, and was able to show them how it pointed all to Christ!
So now, it even stands that to just know the words of Christ Jesus—or the exhortations and admonitions of the Apostles by the Holy Spirit—is not enough in and of itself. We have to live by the words—not in order to save us. But because we will never change or grow unless we put into practice what we have read/learned!!!!