The Spiritual Treadmill
Even the great, accomplished Apostle Paul experienced resistance numerous times.
1 Thessalonians 2:18 (NLT)18 We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us.
The word “prevent”=egkopto= which means “to cut a ditch across the road.”
Robbers would do this in order to get travelers to stop in the middle of the road, making them easy prey. The ditch was there to impede progress, by cutting off the path, creating a diversion, so that the travelers would take a different route.
Satan loves to use everyday life to divert from and impede progress in your life. He doesn’t want you to drink from the cup of redemption. He will hinder you and prevent you from traveling down God’s road for your life. You see when you are in the road and you see the ditch, the impediment, the block on your progress, all you see is the ditch, you don’t look for the big picture. You develop spiritual near-sightedness. The devil keeps us focused on our problems, our issues, ourselves, our own comfort and convenience. God, however, keeps bending over and picking us up, moving us forward into His big picture.
The Apostle Paul talked about this in His own ministry in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
Here Paul is saying we face all kinds of ditches, problems, issues, and yet, we were never derailed from the mission. He gives the secret to it later in the same chapter.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Remember this: If the devil cannot keep you out of heaven, then he’d at least like you to be as ineffective as possible on your journey to get there.
The enemy would love for you to be stuck in the second cup, always struggling with deliverance and constantly needing to be delivered from self-absorption. This is the spiritual treadmill – you’re running, but staying in the same place. It’s exhausting, yet not accomplishing anything for the kingdom. So find your purpose and move forward into the third cup, and be restored to greatness.
As I mentioned in a previous article, our dog Dutch, stands as a reminder of redemption for me. We redeemed him, changed his name, and began to change the areas that we could immediately. We gave him a bath, a haircut, and then began to treat him like he was a Schnauzer, not a creature placed on this earth to take abuse. He was saved, and we did our best to move him past the memories, and the syndromes brought on by abuse (hiding syndrome).
The first step in finding your purpose is the cup of sanctification (salvation), then moving on to the second cup, deliverance, and allowing God to heal the scars of yesterday.
In the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25, the three individuals were not all given the same amount of talents. 1 received 5, 1 received 2, and 1 received 1. They all had the same opportunity to use the talents wisely and profitably for the master. The difference was that the one who received only one talent allowed His fear to produce failure. He developed the hiding syndrome. If you are living in fear and everything else it brings with it, you’ll bury your talent. We should bury our fear instead and invest the talent, instead of the other way around.
God designed you
Psalm 139:13-16 (NKJV)
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
We were all created by the same God yet we are all different. The Word states: 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 KJV)
Three times the word “diversities” or “different” is used and “same” is used three times. We are each unique and different from everyone else, but we are all united in serving the SAME God. God has redeemed you to restore you to your purpose. Find it. Find your design and once you’ve learned it, apply it. God is omnipotent. All potential is in Him and His potential is great in you. The closer you draw to Him, the closer He will become to you.
He has redeemed you, and His desire is to take you on a journey to your destiny, your promised land.