Thursday, June 17, 2010

#18 - Steady Wins the Race

The boy is just being a little "chatty Cathy" up in his bed. It is so funny to hear him. I can hear the jingle of him grabbing a toy now and then and can just tell he is shaking it. :) Then....silence. It's like he plays then takes a quick snooze. So...I guess that's my cue to get to it! :) The clock is a tickin'! :)
Proverbs 17:3 - The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tries the hearts.
Proverbs 31:25 - Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
Proverbs 17 was filled with nuggets! That is exactly why you can really do this EVERY month, keep going over Proverbs & Proverbs 31, because there is SOOO much good stuff that it's as if you will never be able to dive into it fully.... there is always more. Like the rabbit hole keeps going deeper! Well, this morning we will dive into the rabbit hole and see where it takes us. As always, it will be good because OUR GOD & HIS WORD does not disappoint!

Before beginning, let's look into a bit of the language, the history.... the original Hebrew text and meanings. I believe that will shed further light as we study. The root word for refining pot goes back to the word, tsaraph. Tsaraph means to test, to prove true, to refine, to be refined. And the word furnace come from our root word kuwr. Kuwr means to bore, pierce, dig, hew, smelting furnace or pot. When we look at tries, it is a similar. Pretty interesting.... bachan means to prove, to try, to examine, to test, to scrutinize, to try of gold, to be tried. Strength in the Hebrew refers to: material, physical, personal, social, or political. 

With that does this apply to us? What are we called to do here? We see our Proverbs 31 woman. She is strong, in every sense of the word. She is physically strong, she has material possessions that show strength, she is personally strong - mentally & spiritually, she is socially strong - she has ties to the public, to the people, she has rapport because of her steadfastness, because of her character & integrity, and yes, our Proverbs 31 friend is even politically strong, she knows what is going on in politics. She is supportive, she has an opinion which is based off the Word, she is wise in the realm of what is going on with her country. She is not just a "bystander" who knows nothing. She makes herself wise, in "the-know". She knows who to support & why and it all boils down to WHO is following the direction laid out in the Word. 

As we tie the two together I am reminded of the story that we all know of the tortoise & the hare. Who won the race? What is the common phrase? "Slow & steady wins the race." It's not the radical, quick decisions that make someone win, it is the decisions based in strength. It is the good decision backed by good decision that ultimately wins in the end. I am reminded of different people I have seen in life be "RADICAL"... they seemingly came out of no where. They reminded me of the hare. They ran REALLY fast! They sprinted. They seemed radical. But, do you know what happened to them? They also burnt out. They quit the race before it was over. They lost. They are completely off the radar now. They burnt out. In their race to be radical, they missed the STEADY. Our Proverbs 31 woman has not done that. She has built upon herself. She has built quality characteristics. She has built her house upon the rock, not upon the sand. She has become STEADY. Personally, she has become steadfast. The cares of this world are not stripping her away from what is most important. She is not flighty. She is not excited about the Lord one day and then a week later you would have thought she had forgotten. She is steady. And in the end, she wins the race! 

It doesn't take the radical, it takes the steady. 

Let's take the signers of the Declaration of Independence for example. Yes, these men were radical. But they were first of all steady in their beliefs. They knew what they believed and they stood behind it daily. Your steady stand may eventually lead to radical decisions. I believe our Proverbs 31 woman would have been standing amongst people like these men. She would have stood for what she believed & she wouldn't have forgotten her beliefs because of the "car pool line", or "golf lessons". Not that these things are bad, but they are bad when it causes you to forget. When it causes you to allow your time to neglect the most important. I believe she KNEW what the most important thing was and continued to be led because of what was most important. It boiled down to our Proverbs 31 friend knowing who she was in Christ & making a steady, daily decision to follow Him, to seek Him, to know Him. 

In closing... you may never have to make a radical decision like those of our Founding Fathers. But, if you are EVER in a position that you must, it will take the steady standing to even know the answer to the radical decision. To know what side you stand on. Let's take a look at some radicals. Are you steady enough in the Word, in your Walk with Christ to know? These men were tested. They were tried. They were scrutinized. They were some radicals who did indeed change history:
Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence..... Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the revolutionary army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the revolutionary war. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.....They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the revolutionary war. We didn't just fight the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government! ( 
Steady wins the race. Steady may lead to radical. As an American, for us, steady led to freedom. 

In what areas to you need to firm up your "steady"? Is it your walk with the Lord? Do you get excited & then get burnt out? Do you start, but don't continue?  If I could make a suggestion.... don't try to set unrealistic expectations on yourself. Start small. Start with something. Start with 5 minutes. Just start. It may be one verse or one chapter. Just start. Begin the journey to spend time with the Lord daily. So when you look back you can say, "Wow...I have been GROWING in my walk with the Lord for 15 years now." You can look and see that it has been a progressive realization. You are daily progressing. Start small, but start. Don't grow to busy that when you crawl into bed at night, exhausted it's then that you realize..."Oh, dang it... the whole day went by and I didn't spend any time with the Lord. I didn't spend any time in the Word. I guess I'll try tomorrow." I plead with you... in 10 years when you look back, don't just look at a life of busyness, a life of minimal or no spiritual growth, a life where you are still a baby drinking milk from the bottle....a life where you haven't graduated to the meat, to the solid food.  

Start today. Commit today. Commit to grow. Slow & steady win the race. The Lord may have radical, exciting things in store for you. Will you be ready? Will you have been steady?


jburton said...

You are right on the money! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

WOW AMY!!!! I think that was God Breathed for me to READ!!! I am almost in tears from the way the Lord spoke to me through your blog! You have such an amazing gift! Keep it up and THANK YOU!!!

Amy J. McCart said...

JT & Sara, Thanks! I know you both chasing your dreams, not settling for less, patriots... it doesn't surprise me that you would comment that way! Keep making a difference! :)

Amy J

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