Running for the Kingdom

Running for the Kingdom

by Marlene de Vente | May 1, 2011

“O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.”

– Psalm 63:1-3

Ok, it was time to start memorizing Scripture. But where to start? A psalm would be good, I thought. Well, which one? Suddenly I remembered my birthday card – someone had written Psalm 63 next to her name. So I looked it up in my Bible and checked the number of verses. Eleven. Sure, that’s reasonable for a beginner-Scripture-memorizer. So I started out.

“O God, Thou art my God.”

Yes, the God of all the universe – He was my God. I could say this with all my heart. Mmm...I never thought memorizing would be so easy. OK, go on.

“Early will I seek Thee.”

“Yes, Lord, I seek You! I seek Your face every day! I want to know You more and more.”

Then God stopped me. “Did you see that first word?”

“Uh, early?”

“Yep. Early. That means...early.”

Oh no, I thought. What did I get myself into?

When we surrender all to God and tell Him that He can do with our lives whatever He wants, He is not slow to answer. He is quick to show us the things He wants to control. And one of the first things He asks for is – yep – our sleep. Gulp. “OK, Lord, I have said I would give up everything – and that includes sleep.”

Then God makes known the time He wants us to get up, and it seems totally extreme. Impossible. But with all grit we set our alarm for the dreaded hour and go to bed. The time to wake up comes – and we find out that our flesh is very much alive and screaming at the top of its voice!

I remember at first it really seemed impossible to get out of bed at such a ridiculous time – but I wouldn’t stop trying. “Early will I seek Thee” became a promise to me, a battle shout. Before I went to bed at night I would pray for the next morning’s wake-up call. I would pray “In the morning, when I rise – give me Jesus. Let my first thought be Him, so that I will want to get out of bed.” And God wrought a great victory in my life!

Okay, back to Psalm 63.

“My soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee, in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is...”

Next thing on the list was the exercise of fasting. Again – impossible. How my flesh ached and screamed in the beginning! I was miserable and needed to muster up all my self-control not to eat anything. But the Lord was training me how to fight this battle. When I felt the hunger pangs in my stomach, He taught me to pray that He would satisfy me with His hidden manna. Multiple times He has satisfied me so much with spiritual things that I wasn’t even hungry in the natural! He also taught me how to leverage it against the enemy and pray that my church would be as hungry and thirsty for Him as I was for food and drink right then.

These are just two examples of the life that is called “the impossible life!” And that’s exactly what it is – impossible. For humans, yes, but not for God. For Psalm 63 goes on to say, “To see Your power and Your glory.” We cannot pull off this impossible life, and He knows it. But He also knows that He can pull it off in our lives – that we will see His power and glory. If we have God in us, He can take our bodies, our minds, our energy, our will-power, our intellect, our discipline and make a Name for Himself through us. A Name of glory and power. A Name of strength and majesty. A Name of grandeur and reverence.

Therefore, embrace the challenges! It’s a stage for His power and glory in your life! Say, “O God, You are my God” and hit the race running. Cry out, “Let me see Your power and glory!” And throughout the daily race, run to God first – seek His face early when the flesh is screaming for attention. Keep running, keep longing for His power to enable you to put one foot in front of the other and soon you will burst forth with shouts of victory! Even those around you will stand in awe at His great works, and will join the heavenly race with the new song on their lips – the magnificent anthem of the spiritual athletes, running for the kingdom of God.*

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