Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

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Organizing the Inside – Day 298 Do Your Rules Impede Their Faith?

Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
Galatians 2:16
(NLT)

Simply put! There is nothing that anyone needs to do to be made right with God, except have faith in Jesus Christ. NOTHING!! Christians are constantly putting stipulations on others about how to be made right with God, converting back to the law. We cannot put people under bondage because we know the law. Many principles found in the law work, but doesn’t faith work better? Indeed there is a more excellent way; God’s law is now written on our hearts. Does that mean we shouldn’t learn from the written law? Absolutely not, but false teachers teach the law to manipulate others and they also suggest that by following the law one is made right with God. Those who teach such untrue doctrine will indeed be held accountable for their works and words.

For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, Romans 4:14 (NLT) because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. Romans 4:15 (NIV)

Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.”  Romans 7:7 (NLT)

We are made FREE in Christ.
If we teach that by obeying the law we are made right with God, what is faith for.  Christ came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17) When I first gave my life to Christ I cut up my miniskirts. I took great pride in wearing long-sleeved shirts and high collar necklines. I wanted to please God by obeying someone else’s ideas about how to be made right with Him.  I wanted to obey all the “Christian rules that I was supposed to follow” I took my cues from those who preached and the message that their lifestyle brought. Eventually, the notion that I had to do all kinds of “acts” and “good works” in order to please God became overwhelming. 3How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?  Galatians 3:3, 4 (NLT) I knew I had a relationship with God; my faith was strong and He’d answered many prayers. Troubled by the law, (the position it seemed to hold in the church) my faith was perhaps impeded. As years went by with all my errors, poor choices, mistakes and outright disobedience, God never left me and He never once cursed or forsook me. I began to realize that this walk was a walk of faith and not of laws, rules and regulations. I was made the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe… Romans 3:22a (NIV)

I began to distinguish the difference between the Word of God and the traditions of men. I rediscovered my faith, which had never left me; but it was now clear to me that it was (only) through Jesus Christ. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) I sometimes wonder if my life, growth and encouragement was slowed down by those who chose to teach the law instead of the message of grace.

17But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! 18Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. 19For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. Galatians 2:17-21 (KJV)

For those who are teachers, I understand the desire to have people “act right” and the sincerity of some who only want others to “live right.” We will see clearly and understand this matter also when we see Christ face to face. Meanwhile, as I grow (in my understanding of His love and grace) I go forward. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:12 (NIV)

Be careful those among us who teach following the law as a means of being right with God. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1 (NIV) If you have ears to hear, then hear what the Spirit is saying to the church!

Satan is the accuser of the brethren, this is not our role. We are not to condemn and accuse anyone in Christ, but are to reconcile others to Christ. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 2 Corinthians 5:18 (NIV) God knows those who are for Him. He also knows and understands far more than any of us the place which His law truly holds in today’s modern church.

In conclusion, God knows and He sees all hearts. His Word is able to penetrate and discern the motives of men. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)

May the message of God’s Word and our faith in Him through Jesus Christ be the overriding theme we live by. May no other foundation be built again, may no other gospel be preached to men. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters and he lives in all of us. Colossians 3:11 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 294 It’s Time To Renew Your Mind

Collect your thoughts, yes, unbend yourselves.  Zephaniah 2:1 (NLT)

Do you have the mind of Christ?
Your thought life can be one of the most difficult challenges to overcome.  If your mind is not right, I’d dare suggest the rest of you is probably not doing too well either. Confusion and clutter of the mind is a common problem. When your schedule is busy you may not have time to collect your thoughts.  Be cautious, hurrying from one task  or event to another will result in burnout, without you knowing it’s coming. Growing up as a teenager my Dad would tell me, ” You’d better slow down before you run into a brick wall.”  Trust me, brick walls hurt, but they can be avoided by slowing down and taking time to simply think. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:5 (KJV)

Taking time out for what’s important must include time for you.
You may be so busy that you haven’t stopped to take a temperature check.  You certainly want to nurture those relationships that are important; family, friends and associates,  but in doing so you must remember to take time out for you.  How are you doing?  Is your mind at peace? Sometimes the accumulation of thoughts can be very stressful, especially when you fail to stop and really clear your head.

Schedule time for yourself and make it count.
Do something that is completely stress free, obligation free and hassle free.  Do something just for you,  have a cup of your favorite tea in your favorite corner. Unbend yourself and allow your strength and mind to be renewed.  You and the people around you will be happy you did. Organizing the inside is organizing the mind. Make time for you!!

Organizing the Inside – Day 281 Avoid Too Many Words

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.  Proverbs 10:19 (NIV)

Whether listening or speaking, think about it; too many words often leads to trouble. Most people who talk too much eventually end up either talking about themselves or someone else. I don’t think God wants us spending too much time doing either. These are people I honestly try to avoid.  At first I admired their ability to start-up a conversation with anyone about anything. As wisdom grew and I practiced discernment in everyday matters, I began to realize just how much words mean. People who talk too much likely don’t realize how much they’re talking,  and I  suspect because of this they spend a lot less time thinking.

What are we opening our hearts to?
Take time to listen carefully to the people you regularly talk to. Be wise and learn to hear what they are not saying also. Are these conversations usually fruitful or are they sometimes filled with gossip about what someone else did or didn’t do? Often secrets shared are tantalizing and before you know it you are sucked in. You’ll find you’re no longer being used as an instrument of love and encouragement but a pawn in Satan’s evil, divisive attempt to accuse the brethren.

Learn to limit conversations that aren’t beneficial to the advancement of God’s kingdom. I realize this may be a tough challenge. I too, love to chit-chat; we sometimes call it “catching up.” Loving God however is more important and I’m determined to use words that matter. A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Proverbs 17:27 (NIV) The Word tells us we should, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  Intercessory prayer is approached by way of the spirit, not the mind. This often requires little conversation and more prayer. Also be careful to avoid using reasoning like, “I need details so I will know how to pray.” No you don’t!  God knows, and your need to know is quite limited. God’s Word teaches us to pray through the power of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. Romans 8:26 (NLT)

Allow your conversations to be led by the Holy Spirit.
This is where the power to do and overcome must be used. Indeed Christ has given us His power to overcome. (read 1 John 5:4) But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8 (KJV) No man can tame his own tongue, but surely God can. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 (KJV) If you’ve been trying to control your tongue on your own, you’re likely not having much success. God has a more excellent way; instead of biting your tongue, yield to the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let God consecrate your ears and mouth.
May your mind, heart, ears and mouth be truly set aside for His divine purpose. When we speak, let us speak forth the oracles of God. When we listen, let us listen to words that will increase our faith in Him. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love… Ephesians 1:4 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

Organizing the Inside – Day 280 Traces From My Past

13And the Lord says, “What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim who builds his palace with forced labor. He builds injustice into its walls… 14He says, ‘I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows. I will panel it throughout with fragrant cedar and paint it a lovely red.’ 15But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. 16He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know me?” Jeremiah 22:13a-16 (NLT) (Also read Jeremiah 22:17-23)

Jehoiakim had big plans and wanted to build great things, but his past got in the way. Since childhood Jehoiakim was greedy and dishonest. Unlike his father, Josiah, who knew God, Jehoiakim failed to heed to all God’s warnings. Jehoiakim allowed his selfish tendencies to rule throughout his entire life, and his choices eventually led to his demise.

Traces: a sign that remains to show the former presences of something that is no longer there. There are sometimes small traces of negative things that we carry with us from childhood. Perhaps ignored as children and tolerated in our youth, these negative character traits are no longer acceptable in adulthood. Many of us have carried insecurities, fear, jealousy and the like for as long as we can remember. These character flaws and painful memories from our past somehow keep popping up. Whether it’s behaviors, or memories that cause us to act out of character, whichever, neither is pleasing to God and He wants to bring about change in our lives.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)

Holding on to the past, can hinder your future. Jehoiakim’s childish selfishness and greed cost him his life. But …we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 1 John 2:1 (NLT) I suspect we all have had certain insecurities, fears, selfishness, jealousy and the like that we have managed to pick up and put down again and again, yet somehow we still carry tiny traces of it from our past. God wants us to be finished with the mess from our childhood. When Christ died He took care of our past. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 (NIV) God’s full plan of salvation erased the traces of remnants from our past. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJ)

Let go of anything negative from your past.
Though he was warned, Jehoiakim didn’t want to let go of the negative traits from his past. He had grand ideas about all he wanted to do and build, yet none of it really mattered, because his unwillingness to let go of stuff he carried since childhood kept him from having a relationship with God. When we keep falling back to our old childish ways and even after hearing from God through the scriptures, (warnings) we are still afraid of the dark… we still cling to the past, our progress is hindered. Old things are passed away and we must leave it all under the blood. We cannot allow traces from our past to keep us from honoring God with our choices today. God gave us His Son, Jesus who died to give us an inheritance that no earthly parent could ever provide, eternal life. That eternal life includes complete freedom from traces of our past. If you’ve been trying to build things, yet you find that traces of your past keep getting in the way, go to God in prayer once and for all Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus Philippians 2:5 (KJV) and leave behind those small remnants of your childhood or past that are hindering your progress in the kingdom. Remember, the very last words that Jesus spoke before He died, “It is finished.”

Organizing the Inside – Day 278 An Open Book

3By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
2 Peter 1:3, 4 (NLT)

We have been given a full executive benefits package.  God has provided us with everything we need for His service.  As believers we do not need to ask anyone to go up to heaven and bring down what God has for us because we each have our own personal relationship with Him. Our heavenly Father wants us to be persuasive and live a life that is pleasing to Him because we  are  His ambassadors. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us… 2 Corinthians 5:20a (NIV)

There are those who want to know more about God but have yet to ask.  Sometimes they’re on the sidelines pretending not to care. All the while they are watching your life and mine.  If starting today your life became an open book, what would the title of chapter one be?

Organizing the Inside – Day 275 Listening to the Voice of God

3The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. 4Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” 5He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did. 6Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!” Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.” 7Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. 8So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. 9So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed. 10And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:3-10 (NLT)

Which lane are you in today?
I always thought I was in the movers and shakers lane; ready to make things happen. In my futile attempts to hurry along God’s plan I kept asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Why does it seem like things are taking so long?  Have you ever wondered why it seems like God is in no real hurry about what He’s working on? The work is life changing and very much-needed; so why then doesn’t God move any faster? I think He has to do things at a slower pace because of our free will. He won’t force us to respond quickly to His initial prompting. Most of us tend to cruise along in the slow lane.

Have you ever thought,
“God has been speaking to me about this for a few months now”?  What have you done about it? When God gives direction, He ends up having to take the slow lane, all the while telling us the same thing over and over again. Our reluctance, hesitance, resistance, avoidance, and plain disobedience slows down progress.

  • Are you ever reluctant to trust God immediately and hand over your problem right away?
  • Are you ever hesitant to step out on faith, when things seem a bit scary?
  • Are you ever resistant to change, even when you knew it was His voice speaking to you?
  • Have you ever avoided saying something you knew God told you to say?
  • Have you ever pretended as though you didn’t hear God’s voice and kind of tried to forget?
  • Have you ever used the excuse I need to pray about it to avoid making a decision?

I must admit yes, to all of the above at one time or another. Am I the first Christian to reprioritize God’s plan to a temporary back burner position? I once had the nerve to ask God if He was sure. Then I actually answered, not even thinking about what I was saying…I don’t think you’re sure. How silly! I tried to reason with God right up until the last few seconds, but the Holy Spirit gave me the boldness that was needed to follow through and finally do what He said. This was a huge lesson in obedience. I’m committed to not doubting God or His voice in my heart. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (NLT)

When things aren’t happening in our lives as quickly as we think they should, we ought to take a serious look at our response to God’s direction. Does God know He may as well start telling you to do something six months in advance, because that’s often how long it takes until you obey? ‘Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’  Psalm 95:10b (NLT) God is never going to impose His will on you or me, even if it’s what’s best for us. Trying to negotiate with the Lord shows a true lack of wisdom. By responding, “Hun, God is that you?” shows a lack of maturity. Samuel was very young and hadn’t learned to discern God’s voice yet.  Most of us may never hear an audible voice, or experience some huge event to prove what we already know. The big event will come, once we learn to give God our surrendered heart. If we want things to move along, we must first stop trying to blame God, because “we’re not there yet” and look at our willingness to say yes and OBEY Him the moment we hear His voice. Samuel jumped up out of bed immediately when He heard God’s voice, not even realizing it was Him. What was your response the last time you heard His voice, and you knew it was Him?

13You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. 14For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. 15Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts Hebrews 3:13-15a (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 268 Becoming One With The Word

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, which bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.  Psalm 1:3 (KJV)

Meditating is pondering and thinking deeply within one’s self. To meditate on the Word of God is to stop and consider what you have read in the Word. Meditating is a way of recalling scripture that has been (eaten) read, by (chewing) pondering it, considering it fully and deeply then (digesting) accepting it again. By thinking deeply upon what you have read you are, (recalling) in a sense, preparing for the Word to be re-digested.

The word Selah found in Psalm is interpreted as a pause, signifying a silence or musical interlude. Selah indicates a time to think or a period to be still before resuming the musical performance. When meditating, you recall the Word and then you consider it in silence, then you accept it. This is more of a cycle or process for becoming one with the Word of God.

Why should you meditate?
Meditating is a way of allowing the Word of God to penetrate your heart. The very essence of who you are comes down to the condition of your heart. As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. Proverbs 27:19 (NLT) As you mediate on God’s word you are being changed into the image of Christ, because the more you look at, consider and think upon His Word, the more you become like His Word. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:25 (NLT)  When your heart is guided by the Word of God, it will result in a godly lifestyle. If you choose a path of obedience, ultimately, you’ll find fulfillment in living God’s purpose for your life. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

A significant aspect of meditation is repeating the Word.
It can be repeating it either in thought or speaking it out loud. Meditating anchors your life in Christ, which is where God has planted you. The trees planted near the river are deeply rooted in place. These trees are rich and healthy with strong green leaves. As you organize your devotional time with God, if you haven’t already done so be certain to include meditation. It will enrich your life and keep you deeply rooted in Him.

Organizing the Inside – Day 265 Surely God Understands Me

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Psalm 51:6 (KJV)

Just because God knows how you are, doesn’t mean you don’t need to change. I wonder if we make excuses so that we can justify not  changing. So you have a habit and you know it shows an overt lack of faith, yet you try to justify it by saying, “God knows how I am.” In her futile attempt to rationalize her so-called quirkiness that’s rooted in an irrational germ phobia, she summarizes such behavior as, “just how I am.” Not calling it what it is, a real lack of trust that God is greater than her fear. In the vanity of her individuality, she tries to suggest it’s no big deal to wash her hands 20-30 times while preparing a meal. Honestly she knows her compulsive behavior is bordering on sin, but it’s much easier to play it off and leave things the way they are. God accepts us because He sees our faith when we come to Him. ( Romans 3:27)  But, just because God accepts us the way we are, doesn’t mean He is pleased to accept our unwillingness to completely yield to Him.

I’ve always been this way is not a good reason to continue.
How can one find internal order, when there is an unwillingness to let go of everything and yield completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, 1 Corinthians 14:33a (NIV) Certainly disorder is what any of us have if we don’t let go. …and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:23 (NIV) The scripture is fired up and loaded, ready to defend your position because after all, “God understands,” for he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Psalm 103:14 (NLT) God’s gentle kindness and longsuffering demonstrated through His patience, in that, He hasn’t utterly destroyed us is not permission to continue in wrong-doing.

Choose to let go of this thing that you have falsely identified with. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) Allow God to permeate every area of your heart. Today, may you give up the not so cute thing that you’ve been clinging to. That hard thing that’s been around so long it’s now considered harmless, and only customary. Yes, give up full ownership and not hold back anything for yourself. It’s not necessary to fix, undo, move, hide, tuck, tug or pull, only YIELD. God is willing to meet you at your point of need. He reaches down to right where you are, where we all are in our lives today. It’s time to surrender this one, which seems like an old childhood friend, so familiar yet after all these years a stranger to anyone new in Christ.

Is Christ truly Lord over all? Or is that one weakness, you’re holding on to, enough to keep you from relinquishing the throne?  After all God knows how you are.

Organizing the Inside – Day 253 God Will Finish What He Began

The LORD will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever–do not abandon the works of your hands. Psalm 138:8 (NIV)

God always finishes what He starts.  He had a complete plan designed for each of our lives before we were born; He knew we would need a Savior.  God made provisions and sent His Son Jesus to redeem us from sin and death.  When we accepted Him in our hearts He began to do His work in us and through us.  What a comfort to know that God will see His work through to completion.  Meanwhile we are a work in progress until Jesus returns and His work in us is complete.

Your growth and success is part of God’s plan.
Would you plant a garden if you didn’t intend to water and nurture it? Of course not, you would see to it that you took care of your garden and helped it to grow.  At times you may feel as though you are not making the progress you’d like in your spiritual life. Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6 (NIV) God won’t leave things unfinished. When going through challenging times just know that God is faithful to fulfill His promises. Live life with confidence in Him, believing all His promises are true.  Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.
Jude 1:24 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 250 The Crowd Is Cheering For You

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Hebrews 12:1, 2 (NLT))

Now let us finish this race.
Is there something hindering your growth in the faith? If so it must be stripped off, laid aside or put away. No longer are we slaves to sin but God has provided a way out and that way is Jesus. Those, who have gone before us, great men and women of faith are cheering us on. Let’s run because no one can hinder us and keep us from the prize that is before us. Run with diligence and determination totally focused on Jesus.  Don’t stop, do not detour, but keep your eyes on Christ. He is the authority that has established and initiated our faith, and He is the only one who makes our faith perfect.

24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air. 1 Corinthians 9:24, 26 (KJV)