“The Exchange”

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” -Proverbs 18:10

Hands Passing Baton at Sporting Event
Hands Passing Baton at Sporting Event

I used to run track when I was in high school.
I was a sprinter.  I would train with my team every day after school even when it was hard.  I would run the 100 meter, 200 meter and the 4×100 meter relay.  The relay was where team work would come in.  Each runner had their own part to play in the race.  Each ran their respective portion…but it would be all for naught if the exchange of the baton was mishandled.  Sometimes failure in the exchange came by way of holding on too tightly to the baton as one attempted to pass it on.  Sometimes failure in the exchange came by way of holding on too loosely as one attempted to pass it on.  That’s why we practiced day after day.  We needed to be a synced group.  We needed to have a simple, nondramatic hand-off each time in order to even consider winning the race.  The relay’s success of failure hinged upon “the exchange”.

Have you ever felt weak?
I imagine we all have from time to time…some of us probably just thought to themselves “I feel weak all the time”.  I want to encourage you today.  There is strength in knowing the Lord.  There is joy in this “knowing” as well.   What happens within this fragment of time (when we allow God’s strength to become our strength and exchange1when we “know” whose strength it is coursing through us) is an exchange of lordship.  The success and failure of the Christian walk sometimes hinges on this pivotal exchange!   Within this exchange of lordship, what we are saying is “Lord I abdicate my human authority that is frail and weak and I exchange it for your Lordship in my life!”  When we allow this lordship exchange to take place within us, we knock down pride and selfishness and erect a stronger, more firmer foundation found only within complete humility and selflessness.

The Apostle Paul puts it like this – “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (2 Corinthians 12:10)
Despite Paul’s sufferings, despite his weaknesses, despite everything kind of persecution he faced, he recognized that even in weakness Christ would be strong!

I wonder if any of you are kind of like me.  I am stubborn.  I am often prideful.  I am sometimes insecure.  I am quick to repay wrongs done to me in similar reciprocating responses.  I am still far from the prize of holiness.  BUT… there is something within this confession of mine.  I have to recognize that in all of these shortcomings I cannot attain the strength that I need on my own.  I require this exchange of authority in my life.  I require the Holy Spirit’s presence within me.  I cannot afford to run aimlessly, full of myself and on my own.  My own efforts will, and frequently have, failed.

run1Oh that we run to the Lord!
Oh that we allow His presence to transform us.
Oh that we are filled with His strength by emptying our weaknesses out at His feet.
This is where the exchange of lordship begins…and the prize of holiness (the very reflection of Christ) is seen.
May we allow this exchange of lordship to occur within us.
It is a very private matter for most of us.  It isn’t something that often happens overnight, but instead His presence begins to urge us to relinquish things.  His presence begins to remind us of what could be.  His presence prompts us to run to Him and lay down our pride and self-assurances at His feet.

How’s your “Exchange of lordship” going?
Something more to ponder today, to God be the glory!

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