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From the moment your eyes open to the last minute of the day, your life is filled with nonstop action. If you aren't careful you can become so overwhelmed in meeting the demands of life that you forget to spend time with your Creator and Sustainer. Our daily devotionals written specifically for women in all walks and stages of life, will change the outlook of your day and give you the inspiration you need! Spending any amount of quiet time in the Word of God will refresh and encourage. Find a Bible devotion here and see how God can work through you to make today a joyful day!

It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint - Encouragement Café - January 20, 2016

It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Café Menufor Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Today’s Special is:  Realizing There Are No “Quick Results” In The Spiritual Gym

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Casey Durham

Main Ingredient:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV

Entrée:

I joined a gym a few months back.  I decided I was going to beat the New Year’s crowd and try my best to get into the habit of working out.  I have goals and I know what outcomes I want, but to be honest... I LOATHE THE GYM.  I don’t understand how people find it fun or “addicting”.  When I’m at the gym, I am an absolute grump and cannot wait to be done.

Why?  Because although I have these goals and I know what I want my ‘finish line’ to look like, I do not want to go through the process.   I wish I could snap my fingers and be 15 pounds lighter and fit, but that is just not how it works.

The same is true with spiritual transformation.  I believe some of us think that when we make the decision follow Christ, we should immediately have all of His characteristics and perfectly match His reflection.  We expect to do a complete 180 from our past life and never struggle again, but just like toning up at the gym, it takes time and effort. 

There is a reason that Luke 9:23 tells us to deny ourselves and take up our cross DAILY.  Salvation is instant, but transformation is a process.

Don’t become discouraged when you are trying to be Christ-like, but instead of seeing His glory in your mirror you only see a failed attempt at reflection.  I’ve beat myself up many times because it seems like a never ending battle to change the way I think, much less the way I act.

It takes time to reflect the glory of God!  

We are imperfect, stubborn human beings.  (I’m more stubborn than the average human, so it is going to take me a whole lifetime!)  That’s okay... It’s about growing in the process.

Do not rely on your own strength or you will be chasing your tail in circles.  Realize that it is through God’s Spirit that your process even begun, much less is continuing.  Lean on Him daily.

Take Out:

Instead of trying to be a Jesus copycat, spend time getting to know Him.  Talk to Him, listen to Him, read His Word and eventually you will naturally start to take on His reflection.

Dessert:

Father, I thank You that I do not have to rely on myself to achieve results of any kind.  I would be constantly crushed by my inability.  I thank You that You are transforming me daily.  I thank You that you can take the worst bundled up mess and transform it to reflect Your glory!  Hallelujah!  I pray that You help me to remember that transformation of any kind is a process, not a quick snap and to rely on You when I’m disheartened.  Continue to move mountains in our midst, God.  We love you Father with all that we are.  In Jesus’ Holy Name I pray.  Amen.

© 2016 by Casey Durham.  All rights reserved.

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