A daily devotional moment by Chris Garcia
Isaiah 40:29–31 (NKJV): 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Hebrews 12:1–2 (NKJV): Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
2 Chronicles 20:1–4 (NKJV): It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). And Jehoshaphat feared and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord, and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
During worship, I got the sense that many were lost in a storm of distractions. Many of us were feeling the weight of the storm. The weight of the crisis. The weight of the issues. Maybe you are in a storm right now. Maybe there is a heaviness that you are feeling bogged down with. There are many voices that you are hearing. Many things that you are seeing. Everything is demanding your attention but the things that are outside of Christ that demand your attention, are only distractions. Because Christ wants to give you strength. There are moments in our lives where the presence of God becomes so palatable, so experientially tangible that one cannot help but to fall on their face worshiping the very glory of His presence. Then there are other moments in our lives where it seems like the weight of everything is on our shoulders. There are moments when we are on the mountain and Jesus is transfiguring His very glory to our beings. Causing us to change. Causing us to experience Him in a beautiful realm. But there are also moments when the mountain is on top of you. In moments like this, in moments whether it is the high tops or the moments where you are in the valley, God is still God. His faithfulness endures for all generations and His mercies never fail nor end. God is still the same God yesterday, today, and forever. He is the same God in the mountain as it is when it seems like the mountain is on top of you. There are moments in which your strength decreases. There are moments when you grow tired or fatigued. Where you feel like you cannot go on any longer. But the scriptures tell us in Isaiah 40:31, “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” But before that in Isaiah 40:30 it says, “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,” There are moments of fatigue in our lives. This walk with Christ is not a sprint. It is an endurance race and he that endures till the end shall be saved. This is not a quick dash or sprint. The Christian life is a marathon. The Christian life is a race of endurance. The only way to persevere. The only way to stick in persistence is to be in the presence of God. By looking to Christ. Just like in a race where you are running and you are fatigued. Moments where you are tired.
You have got to make a decision at that moment whether or not you will fix your eyes on the prize. Whether or not you will fix your eyes on the goal. The prize is Christ and the end goal is His glorious face. We are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. In the book of Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” What are they witnessing? Your walk with the Lord. The personal race that is set before you. Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and every sin that so easily besets us. Let us run the race with perseverance. How? By looking at Jesus. By looking onto the author and finisher of our faith. How are we supposed to run this race? How are we supposed to be persistent? How are we supposed to continue this endurance? By keeping your eyes fixed on Christ. Stop looking at the devil. Stop looking at your oppressions. Stop looking at your afflictions. Many are the afflictions of the righteous. But the Lord will uphold them. The Lord will deliver them from it all. The issue is keeping your eyes upon the Lord just like Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:1–4, “It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, 'A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). And Jehoshaphat feared and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord, and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.'” Jehoshaphat began to tremble and quake with fear because he saw the enemies of God encircling the cities. He began to hold an assembly and said, Lord, "I don’t know what to do but my eyes are on you." When he decided to lock eyes with Christ, when he decided to lock eyes with God, he no longer looked at the enemies or his fears. He decided to fall on his face and pray to the Lord proclaiming, “Lord I don’t know what to do.” Lord, I see all these things but I am going to choose to see you. As he chose to see Him in the middle of that crisis.
That is when God spoke to Jahaziel and God said, “Go down against them for the battle is not yours but the Lord's.” The battle that you are facing in your life is not yours either. The crisis that you are currently in is not yours. The storm that you are in the middle of is not yours. It is the Lord's. The Lord will see to it. The Lord will see to it that you make it through. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord upholds them and delivers them out of them all. The worst thing that you can do is to take your eyes off the Lord and begin to look at the situation. Begin to look at your feelings. Begin to look at your circumstances and to be led by what you see, hear, and what you are feeling in that moment. That is not the way of the Spirit. The way of the Spirit understands and acknowledges and sees these things but they look past the circumstance you are in. You have the eyes of faith to look past the situation and say, “Yes there may be a mountain in front of me. Yes, there may be a real Goliath standing in front of me. Breathing threats. Yes, there may be a real calamity but I choose to keep my eyes on the Lord." Nothing can be further from the truth when we decide to say we look at everything around us and allow THAT to dictate to us the reality of who He is. Jesus told us these words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. The truth is the reality. Your reality might be saying something but Jesus is the reality beyond realities. He is the Author of reality. If you lock eyes with the Lord, you will override the storm. You will override the situation and issues of your life. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers them out of them all. Most of the issues in our lives are because we are magnifying the wrong voice. Most of the things that impeded and get in the way of your fellowship with Christ are because we have allowed these things to magnify against the presence of God.
*Click HERE for the full teaching on this topic and more, or select the YouTube stream located below.
Come & join us M-F 6:15 am CST
Would YOU like to share a testimony of what the Lord has done for you through the Fresh Oil live streams? If so, please record a 30 sec to 1 min video clip oriented in portrait style and upload it here to bless and be an encouragement to others!
We look forward to seeing your testimony played live during the countdown at the start of one of our "Testimony Tuesday" live streams. See you then!
Click here to support this ministry by partnering with us or choosing your customized donation option. We thank you and love you all.