Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Living in Victory

As I was finishing my 6.5 mile run  several weeks ago, my heart was overflowing with gladness for all that the Lord has restored in my life. It was the first time I've run this distance in over five years because of some various injuries and other challenges. While I was running, memories of the marathon and half-marathon I did 13 years ago flooded my mind.
The Lord reminded me of some verses in Joel. I meditated on the fact that God is the One who restores.  I felt indescribable joy as I pondered the thoughts of all that the Lord has given back to me after it was stolen from my life.
I am right on schedule for running a half-marathon in 2013. This half-marathon is so much greater than a running event for me. It's a celebration of how the Lord has restored my life. He healed my broken marriage, fixed my broken finances, healed my sick body, and restored my ability to run.
Realizing and believing that God is the Restorer is what I believe ignites the supernatural power of Christ.
Many times I have been on the verge of seeing restoration in an area in my life and just before the breakthrough occurs, something happens out of the blue to thwart the good plans God has for me. Well, I have figured out that these “out of the blue” happenings are not coincidental. 
The Bible reveals a powerful truth in John 10:10. Jesus said, The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
The thief has worked overtime to rob from me. But with each effort to sabotage God’s good plans, it backfires and Jesus wins every time. 
On Thanksgiving Day, my daughter and I ran eight miles as part of our training regimen for the half-marathon we’re running together in January. It was a victorious day for both of us. My twenty-two year old daughter had never run this distance. And I hadn’t run this distance in probably 10 years. We were elated.
On Monday of this week, just as I was about to begin another training run, I jammed my toe into a piece of furniture accidentally because I had moved it temporarily to get something out from behind it and had forgotten to move it back. My little toe crashed right into the chair leg as I was rushing through my house. I landed onto the floor in pain.
I knew what I had done was bad. The level of pain and the immediate swelling proved to me that it was not just a stubbed toe. My mind immediately went to the place of resigning and accepting a long time of healing.
Well, there goes my half-marathon race,” I thought to myself.  It was exactly nine weeks until my race.  And with the possibility of a broken toe, I knew I wouldn’t be able to train for weeks.
My next thought was one of faith.
I’ll have to trust God.
As the day went on, my toe hurt worse. I iced it, but by eleven p.m. the bruising had spread in between my toes and onto my actual foot. It was purple, red, and swollen and I could feel a small bump on the side of my toe.  It was so bad that my daughter couldn’t look at it.
I looked up images of broken toes on the Internet and saw that the pictures looked very similar to my toe. Everything I read indicated I had a broken toe. The bad news was that it takes six to eight weeks for a broken toe to heal.
I taped my little toe to the toe next to it and thought, "I am not going to have this accident ruin God's good plans for me. I AM going to run this race." And I prayed for a miracle.
I went to bed with peace and asked the Lord to heal my toe.
When I awoke yesterday morning, my toe was still hurting enough for me to limp, but as the day went on I noticed it was getting better. I never took anything for the pain. I have a very high tolerance for pain. I delivered my son with no epidural or any other pain medication other than local anesthesia for the stitches to be put in place. I honestly didn’t think much about my toe yesterday.
Today (two days after the accident) I have absolutely no pain in my toe. It doesn’t hurt to touch it. It doesn’t hurt to wiggle it. I cut the tape off and was astounded to see that the swelling was completely gone and the bruising is significantly better. By tomorrow, I’m sure the discoloration will be gone altogether.
The Lord healed my toe, just like He has healed me from other things in the past.
If I had resigned to the pain I would not be doing my race in January.  As followers of Christ, we can live in victory.
I've seen many fake miracles on T.V. over the years. The Bible clearly tells us that there are counterfeit miracles. 
“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9 (NAS)
But the Bible also tells us that in Jesus Christ there are many real miracles.

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. Act 6:8 (NAS)

God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. Hebrews 2:4 (NAS)

They did not remember His power, the day when He redeemed them from the adversary…Psalm 78:42 (NAS)

So Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe." John 4:48 (NAS)
They performed His wondrous acts among them, And miracles in the land of Ham. Psalm 105:27 (NAS)

God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul… Acts 19:11 (NAS)

…In the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. Romans 15:19 (NAS)

A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick. John 6:2 (NAS)
And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.
Mark 16:20 (NLT)

Most importantly Jesus said, we would do even greater things than He did.
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12 (NIV)
I've never been one to attend healing conferences and miracle services. I've been the one who has stayed at home seeking to know God better through studying my Bible and praying as often as possible. But the closer I get to Christ, the more I see miracles in my life.

When we step up and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ then the non-believers will see the power of Christ working through and in us.
We are called to be the salt and light of the world. Let us go forth as disciples of Christ and walk in faith performing miracles in His name. Let us live in victory so that the doubters will watch and see that Jesus is the Messiah of the world.

Live Abundantly!

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