This morning, I went on a run. Crazy, I know. It must be something in this Spanish water because I was really wanting to run. So, I woke up early, tightened my Nike’s, and hit the road. The sun had already risen and the air was a beautiful mix of cool and warm. I had a destination in mind, with pit stops on the way to walk for a little to catch my ever shortening breath. After turning corners, rounding curves, and slugging up and down hills, I finally arrived to my goal: the foot of the cross.
There’s this little church my friends showed me the other night that is not too far from my house, but far enough that I can escape and be still. Maybe it was the idea of being alone for a little time or the inner whisper to sit at Jesus’ feet early in the day, but I was desperate to make it to that cross. So much that I sprinted the last straight away to get there faster.
Once I arrived, I couldn’t help but sit on the rock the cross was built into and rest my hands on my knees in order to slow down my breathing. I kept looking at the weeds and cacti around me without realizing my breath was quickening. I tried to make a conscious effort to slow down, but I couldn’t gain control, I couldn’t breathe deeply, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the weeds. It was as if a force was keeping me from looking anywhere else but down.
When suddenly, I heard God ask me to say His name. “Are you crazy? I can’t even breathe!” He asked me again. So I whispered it just faint enough to hear. Do you believe in My name? Say it louder. So I said it loud enough to hear over my exhausted lungs. As soon as the name Jesus was released from my body, breath entered and I was able to look up and see that which I had been sitting in front of. There I sat on the edge of a hill, overlooking the coast of Spain, the Mediterranean Sea, and Morocco in the distance. And without realizing it, my arms were no longer resting on my knees, but wrapped around this metal cross as if it were my lifeline. Because it is my lifeline.
I tried to let go of the cross and look back down at the weeds, but something inside me wouldn’t allow that to happen. Even though the view is undeniably awe-inspiring, I wanted to continue to inspect the details of the weeds right in front of me, threatening to creep up onto my legs. It’s not like they were beautiful; thorns and dirt crawled all over each plant. But it was as if the Spirit inside of me kept His hand under my chin, looking out over the land and wonder of this place.
With my arms wrapped around the cross, I was reminded of one of the key verses that has been taught here at G42 thus far:
…to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. -Colossians 1:27
Since Christ, the God of the universe and the Savior of the world, lives in me, why would I even want to try to breathe air into my own lungs and keep looking at the weeds around my feet? I have the King of kings living inside me. I have the power and authority of God Almighty to kick the weeds and breathe out His Spirit into the world, pushing back evil with every swing and reversing oppression with each breath. Oh, how often I forget this truth!
And you know what? If you are adopted into the Royal family, you have Christ living in you as well. You have the authority to erase the lies that say you’re unworthy, not significant, a waste of space on this earth. Surely God does not believe those lies about you, so why would you let them creep into your soul like weeds and cacti stripping you from your lifeline?
After clinging to the cross and looking out upon the land, God finally asked me to stand up. Don’t look back down. Keep your eyes on Me and go forth and walk with the confidence that comes from My authority. I give it to you so that the hope of glory may be manifested through you.
I wish I could say my run was easier after this, but it wasn’t. There’s something significant about training your lungs to carry bigger and bigger capacities of breath. Just the same, it takes training to continually walk and live with the authority and power of Christ in me. But I can tell you that it is in recognizing this reality that things start to change, with my head up and lungs filled and Jesus coming from my lips.
Will you live with the truth that Christ lives in you?