by Andy Castro
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She walks with a painful limp, feet are blistered, legs burn with every step and her clothes are battle worn. Uncovered skin sluggishly bleeds from intruding jungle brush. Her weathered face and unkept hair paint a picture of unbridled determination. She holds two weapons; her machete to forge her own path and the memory of the voice who called her to greatness. In the brief moments of drifting into restless sleep she rewrites the definition of greatness in her mind and fights the desire to revert to the old life of mediocrity. With a sudden jolt from her heart she wakens to her bold voice casting judgment on her placid past. She speaks to the past as if it's a haunting spirit, "Whoa to those who regress to the call of death. I am a victor and I create the path the voice has called me to. My names are determination, perseverance, endurance and conqueror. Speak to me again, spirit of past, and I'll tighten my grip on the machete that bludgeons the jungle of insignificance into my path of magnificence." She charges forward knowing that failure follows but looks to the day when the voice takes the machete from her hand and says to her; "Well done my rugged beauty. Well done."
God likes rugged.
Look at Moses, Joseph and King David. They lived rugged lives. Look at some of the apostles. I bet Peter was very rugged. Think about it, he pulled a sword on a small troop to protect Jesus as if he could really win. That's Clint Eastwood type of rugged.
How about John the Baptist? Dressed in camelís skin, eats locust and lives in the desert. Sounds a bit like Bear Grylls.
How about Debra the Judge? She led warriors into battle for Israel. A woman wielding a sword; thatís rugged.
The bible is filled with ruggedness and it's good. Adam was created in an untamed garden and he named the animals.
There's no doubt living after the fall of mankind was rugged. God told Adam and Eve it would be rough. Adam you'll toil in your work. Eve, it will painful to bare children and your husband will rule over you. I'm sure Eve was thinking, "whatever".
At times life is rough for all of us. And in third world countries, it is rougher than most North Americans can imagine. Our battle is different than much of the world. Our battle is mostly in the mind. In the Americas most of us have food, shelter and livable conditions. The battles arenít about surviving a physical life. It is more about renewing the mind and fulfilling the call on our life. One major hurdle is many Christians don't know there is a call on their life or don't know what it is. Therefore they live in a spiritual hallway. They've walked out of the door from hell but not walked into the door of their predestined future.
Mark Twain once said; ďI can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I canít find anybody who can tell me what they want.Ē
The standard answer from believers is; "I want what God wants." Thatís not an answer. Here's why. Most followers of Christ donít know what God wants and one of two things happen when we read or hear what God wants for us. First we may think this canít be true or this canít be true for someone like me.
After your transformation, God does want goodness in this life for us. But it will take a rugged person to be prepared for that goodness. It will take renewing the mind to take you to that goodness. In many cases renewing the mind will be a battle of battles because you will be battling generations of immoral conditioning, subtly false and limiting beliefs that are contrary to what God has for you.
The truth is you must see yourself as a soldier being prepared for battle. Once saved, God has a mission for us. God has given us all the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18) and renewing the mind prepares us for that mission. Also, as followers of Christ must realize we are now a target of a ruthless enemy who will use every trick in the book to keep us from believing we are more than conquerors. He will do whatever it takes to keep you from your true names: determination, perseverance and endurance. He will do all he can to keep you returning to your past and fearing the future. He will try to change the story line for your life. But listen to what God says: "Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice." (Isaiah 41:10 Amp)
The story line for your life includes fearlessness, strength and victory. Itís a grand call on your life that will require all the aspects of a mighty warrior. In your unique way you have been called to reconcile man to God. Itís a call that will take grit, stamina and pure ruggedness.
Are you ready to accept the call? If so; here are a few steps to consider.
ē Count the cost. You could lose everything and anybody close to you. You will definitely have to lose yourself; your old way of thinking and doing. You will go through painful lonely times and the preparation will take years.
ē Trust in Godís grace and strength. It will take His grace and strength to get you through your personal boot camp. Your human potential will get you far but it won't make you whole. God wants to make you whole inside and out.
ē Read and study the bible. There are several study tools for this. I use Studylight.org for my study time. I read Christian and non Christian books and blogs. Most importantly, I invite the Spirit into my study time. I don't go for volume, but I do ask for Him to reveal what I need to know.
God loves ruggedness. He sees you as a rugged mighty warrior and longs for the day to take the worn machete from your hand and say, "Well done, my rugged beauty. Well done."
So what do you want? Do you want to walk through the door into Gods plan for your life or stand in the hall way of uncertainty? I strongly encourage you to accept the call. It will be worth it all.
Feel free to share or leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.
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