Saturday, September 6, 2008

Capturing That Which Has Captured Me!

I woke up at my usual 5:30 this morning. I find it the best time to think - it's quiet, and though it's just the two of us in the house, and she's still getting her beauty sleep (which works in her case, so more power to her), there seems to be more noise when "the world is awake"! I've had a little cold coming on but I'm determined not to let it get the best of me. I am going to "capture the day which has captured me"!

Thinking of that phrase reminds me of one of my most favored passages of Scripture. Paul, writing his "epistle of joy" to one of his special churches - Philippi - records these words of encouragement to them in Chapter 3, verses 8-14. I'll condense it. He begins by saying that since coming into personal and intimate knowledge of Christ in his life, he has considered every thing else in comparison, a waste of his energies. That rightness which he had pursued on his own with no realized perfection, though he "lived according to the law" with a zeal unmatched by many, he then realized was freely won by Christ and given him by faith's belief and dependence. Verse 12 then states his pursuit. "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus." (Hence my words "capture that which has captured me".) He goes on to say that he has not yet arrived, not perfect yet, but pursuing it with a single-mindedness, forgets what is past and stretches toward what is ahead, the "mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (vs 14).

How shall I illustrate? Paul was in the habit of using examples out of the "olympics" of his day, so let's go there. To be a member of the olympic team you must apply and qualify. If you don't begin in this way, you are never able to run in the "big race". The entrance and qualification required of one who would pursue the "golden prize of God's high call" is faith's belief and dependence on Christ, Who has already won the race and gained the prize perfectly. With His Spirit's entrance into our "heart and life", we step out upon the "olympic" field of life to run with His strength. "Apprehended of Christ Jesus", we press forward to "apprehend" the prize. When I watched the runners in the recent olympics come to the finish, I saw them push their chests forward at the last moment to improve their win. We are to allow Christ in us to push so forward daily, not being weighted by any past miss-step, that we might "capture more of Him Who has captured us"!

I can think of no life whose character and action and impact is greater or more desirable than that of Jesus Christ. That's the kind of life I'd like to live, but since He is perfect in every way, for He indeed is God, I know that in and of myself it is impossible. However, since He is God and willing and capable of "living in me" I can pursue with promised possibility the character and action that I see in Him. I must let Him walk and talk and act and feel as the leading partner in my life.

The miracle which takes place when I do such, is that all that which my "renewed mind and heart" finds interesting, or challenging, or enjoyable about my family, my friends, my work, my play takes on a renewed and better priority, too! "I capture that which has captured me!"

When I capture He Who has captured me
There is reward that one can see.
If He Who captures seeks my best
And if I yield to His life's quest,
I will discover in His Spirit's embrace,
That I can win gold in my life's race.

You know, I'm feeling better already! Be encouraged!


Amber said...

Just read the comment that you left know, we're pretty proud of you, too!

I added Michele's and my blog addresses to the side of yours. Now all you have to do is click on the link and it takes you to our pages.

Love ya. Hope you feel better.

Mich said...

Wow! I was reading your bio... what a life you've led! I knew you had done all that stuff, after all I was there for most of it, yet it is impressive on paper. I'm excited for you, now you can share all those morning devotion writings with the world. I know I didn't appreciate all your "words of wisdom" when I was younger, but what did I know, I was just a teenager!!! I look forward to reading more... Love ya!