Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
In my walk as a disciple of Jesus Christ, i find the development of a proper character through trial to be a major partner in the journey. The Word has much to say on this subject (as it should being such a big part of the walk overall).
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
Hebrews 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Now, the human reaction to this process of trial is, "what have i done wrong?". In many cases our sufferings are indeed a result of something we did wrong. But also, there are times when its nothing to do with doing something wrong, but rather, something inside of us that is wrong.
Job, for example is described in the bible as righteous. Yet he suffered horrible calamities that nearly destroyed him. As i have studied his life intensely, i found out what the problem was. Pride. He had a strong pride problem that was not made manifest until he was brought into the heat of trial. Here are a couple of examples of his statements that reveal this.
Job 33:9 I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.
Job 34:5 For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment.
Job 35:2 ................ My righteousness is more than God's?
It got to the point where the Lord Himself spoke to Job saying......
Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
But in the end, Job was perfected as he said,
Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Job 42:6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Then all that he had lost was restored unto him in a double portion. This is where i am now. Job's problem was pride, mine is a lengthy list that would require a large volume of many pages. But one thing that is definitely getting through to me is the need to develop patience. This precious grace is severely lacking in me and in society at large. Yet, it is an essential element for those who would pass through the darkness of this world successfully and stand on the Sea of Glass with Christ and the redeemed.
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Since its my endeavor to be just like Jesus in every way, trials like the one i am in are necessary. This brings me to my diet situation. i believe that one of the reasons i was led to partake of the fruitarian diet is because of the intensity of the trial the Lord knew He was bringing me through.
But i am definitely struggling with the issue of salt. During this journey i have learned a tremendous amount (for which i am literally eternally grateful). But at this point i am just seeking to keep a strong grip on my Lord Christ more than anything else. At some point this fall my plan is to do a short (perhaps 10-14 days) Orange juice fast. Not only because i love OJ but because it will help me overall in my being. i am also planning to go back to all fruit and no salt starting in January 2010. My goal is to do it for 5-7 months this time. i am hoping to get more of an understanding in my own mind regarding my diet and my life in general.
For now, i am going to stay the way i am. Which i suppose is high raw. i still eat alot of fruit, but i am also eating non-raw, vegan items such as the crackers, bulgar wheat and rice cakes i may have mentioned before. My workouts are still stellar and alot of fun. i still cannot do a muscle up yet, but the journey towards it is rewarding. Yesterday i did 320 pushups in 4 sets in less than 20 minutes. Included was one set of 90 (my personal best for this year so far). i also split some wood with an axe, such joy and satisfaction in that workout for me. My muscles are getting noticably fuller. Especially in my chest and arms. This can be expected when one does a consistent 1000 or so pushups per week along with chins and other bodyweight exercises. Why i ever wasted time lifting heavy iron (as i did in 2006) is beyond me.
Our guests are doing fine so far. i suppose i can describe our relationship as iron sharpening iron. i am glad the Lord brought them to stay with us, although i wish the circumstances were better.
As its about lunchtime right now, my menu is still incomplete.
So far i have had a large wedge of watermelon and 6 large bananas. i am about to eat some pecan-oatmeal patties my wife prepared for me with some bulgar wheat. No exercise today, as i am going to be busy and i am planning a serious physical assault tomorrow.
Grace and Peace be multiplied.