That moment when you are in the middle of a run, and you crest a huge hill, and realize that the hard work is over and it’s all downhill from here…
Yeah… that’s what I’m talking about.
That moment was today. Today we crested the hill of #5kMay2020. We are officially more than halfway through the challenge. It’s mathematically downhill from here!
Daily Run: This morning I ran a nice, easy 5k with my bride and our daughter, Piper. There is road construction in Apple Creek, causing our “Triangle Route” and “Arrowhead Route” to be a bit too ominous for comfort—especially with our 10-year-old daughter running with us. So… we created a new route. We are affectionately calling it the “Criswell Out & Back” The route is a rather perfect metaphor for our current #5kMay2020 experience. It is a long, slow climb up to the halfway point, and then a fun downhill back home. We ran 3.1 miles in 29 minutes and 8 seconds, which was an average pace of 9:21 per mile.
Daily Bible Reading: Reading through Luke 2-4 reminded me of being in Israel. I have had the pleasure of traveling to Israel and walking where Jesus walked on 3 separate occasions. My wife and I traveled with an excellent Bible teacher by the name of Dale Keffer in 2013. I traveled with Sonlife in 2017, and my wife and I went together with Sonlife in 2019. (I was supposed to be in Israel in March 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a full stop to those plans.)
What an amazing experience it is to be in the Holy Land and to walk where Jesus walked! At one point we took a hike through the Wadi Qelt in the Judaean wilderness. It was a several mile hike on a fairly small, rocky, mountainous path.
We stopped at a bit of a clearing along the way to talk about Jesus’ 40 days of being tempted in the same wilderness that we were currently hiking through. The devil tempted Jesus with what really amounted to trying to get him to live out of his divinity instead of living out of his humanity.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”Luke 4:3, ESV
It could have become a bread market! Jesus easily could have done what the devil had suggested. He was hungry and there were plenty of stones. But throughout His life, including there in the wilderness, Jesus never pulled the “God card”. Everything that He did, He did as a man walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, He was fully God, but He was also fully man. He never relied on His “God-ness” (or divinity) while on earth. Instead, He relied on the Holy Spirit.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Philippians 2:5-8, ESV
Jesus emptied Himself and relied on the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit is alive in us today!
Holy Spirit dependence is ultimately found and lived out on our knees, praying, spending time alone with the Father like Jesus did.
Obedient living will be the natural result, doing what we see the Father doing like Jesus did.
Studying and knowing the word of God will be a practical way to be directed by God. We need to know and live out the scriptures like Jesus did.
Evidence of this life in the Spirit will be seen in relationships of love and integrity, as we extend the Father’s love to others like Jesus did.
Without Holy Spirit dependence, nothing else really works. None of this is possible without the Spirit of God at work in our lives.