Your goals during Grit Season, October 8 - November 23
1) Becoming a finisher
2) Living in SYNC with the "Camp-out Festival"
The rhythm of Grit Season is the rhythm of Jesus' feet as he staggered under the cross beam on his way to execution. Nothing in this world is more sobering than realizing we are supposed to move in SYNC with that rhythm.
Yet this season is not just a sobering, grit-your-teeth affair. The backdrop for it is the "Camp-out Festival," the exuberant annual reenactment of the wilderness years that God got his people through. (Leviticus 23.33-44). They should have died out there, but they didn't, and we can still celebrate that miracle. Whether we are on our way to the cross or the Promised Land, we trust God that the pain is temporary. Somehow he will get us through and bless us at the end.
In the meantime, the pain keeps us humble and focused. It reminds us that we are not assigned to conquer the world or control it. Our assignment is only to keep going on our God-assigned path, however tiring or intimidating it may be. This is what it means to "carry our cross," as shown in the Grit icon.
How do you get Jesus' Spirit to give you Jesus' backbone so you have what it takes to endure to the end? How do you "move with the Grit rhythm"?
For starters, repeat the three following things often:
1. The Grit Perspective
We see ourselves in Christ as finishers.
When you SYNC (See Yourself iN Christ), you realize that he has given you what it takes to get through anything. Jesus did not carry his cross so we could be comfortable. He carried it so we would know he can do it. When we are in him, we can too. It is like he had some surplus stamina, and it spills over to take care of our challenges too.
2. The Grit Declaration
This is a day to remember that Jesus carried his cross, and to keep going as we carry ours.
As a person in SYNC with Jesus, you are authorized to declare this, so use your authority. Shape your world. Make your day by repeating this.
This declaration does not say you feel like going on or you know how you will be able to go on. It says you will keep going in faith no matter how you feel or how little you understand.
What we know for sure is that Jesus is not a quitter. If we see ourselves in him, we won't quit either. We only quit when we see ourselves as victims and we lose sight of our Christ-connection.
3. The Grit Prayer
Give us endurance as we carry our cross. Lead us on. Lead us on. Lead us on.
This prayer SYNCs us with the Grit Declaration. We welcome the grit that Jesus gives us so we can play our part in his mission. Our resilience is a signal that something more than human is going on. Otherwise we would have cracked, but we didn't.
In other words, Jesus must be alive. He is a living King, not a dead teacher. The ideas of a great teacher long ago, no matter how fine-sounding, wouldn't be enough to get us through, but our connection to Christ himself does get us through, even when there is no possible human explanation for it.
Note: For seven other "Grit Prayers," see the seven Jubilee Cards with the Grit icon (cards 36-42 of 50). Each one includes a prayer that relates to the verse on the card.
Why do these three statements work? (the Grit Perspective, the Grit Declaration, and the Grit Prayer)
Because they clue us in to God's strategy for the good of the whole world, and they sign us up to become part of his strategy.
Jesus Christ is the center of God's entire strategy, including the Grit aspect. If we see ourselves in Christ, then grit (spiritual toughness and endurance) is part of the deal. We can endure violence, but in God's strategy we do not use it to bring about a better world.
Human thinking wants conquest and control. "If only I were in control, everything would be better for everybody!" The next step is, "This will require some force and perhaps some violence, but it will be temporary and then all will be well."
Jesus gave not a word of guidance to his followers about helping his mission along by using violent force. Instead he taught them to move with the rhythm of patient faithful endurance.
Astonishingly, when people live in Christ's freedom, show his power, share his forgiveness, and do good in his name, they often hit stiff social and/or political opposition. They are seen as threats, misfits, or traitors. Jesus gave plenty of warning about this, and the whole New Testament is full of examples and instructions for it. Now by his Spirit he gives us the internal strength we need to endure.
We do not buy the world's assumption that safety and security for me and my family are more valuable than anything. They are important, but Jesus gave them up for the sake of his mission when the time came, and we are to do the same.
Neither do we believe the world's lie, "If you trust God and do good things, you should expect that life will go well and comfortably for you. If that does not happen, either God is not trustworthy or there is something wrong with your faith." There is some human logic to that, but it is the exact opposite of God's "illogical" strategy--letting Jesus and his followers suffer so that others can see their endurance and join them on the path of suffering. This is redemptive suffering, not illogical suffering.
When you see yourself in Christ (SYNC), you learn to trust his strength. Somehow you find that you are holding on even when you cannot hold on any more. And that is really good for the world!
Bible verses behind these three statements
Key Grit verse in the New Testament
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” Heb. 12.2 (NLT)
Key Grit verse in the Old Testament
"God answered Moses, 'So, do you think I can’t take care of you? You’ll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not.'" Num. 11.23
Key Grit story
Jesus is flogged and mocked by the soldiers, then is too weak to carry the cross to his execution Mk. 14.15-21
The Jubilee Cards include seven Grit-related verses, each showing a different aspect of the Grit theme.
The "5G" flow that is behind these three statements
Jesus shows what grit is when he carries the cross, and he injects that same grit into his followers by his Spirit. When the court orders them to be flogged, they interpret it as a badge of honor, and they defy the court order to shut up about Jesus (Acts 5.40-42)
The gift we get from Christ's example and his Spirit is grit, his courage and strength to endure whatever hardship or opposition we meet as we carry his message of mercy and look forward to his glorious return (Hebrews 12.1-2)
If we "get it," if we understand that Jesus is our example and hero not just our substitute, that is the "Ah-hah moment" when something inside us changes
Go with it
After that, the only thing to do is to "Go with it," following Jesus' example by his strength. We become finishers, and our resilience is evidence that Jesus is alive, helping us endure the unendurable, and even to rejoice in the middle of it
We find our authentic identity in Christ because of his grit and strength. We are 100% genuine people, willing to face death with him and for him. According to God's strategy, tough times break the hypocrites but highlight his work in his true followers.
The "Camp-out Festival"
This fall harvest festival is variously called the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths, or Huts), the Feast of Ingathering, or in Hebrew, Sukkot (Huts). It awakens gratitude both for the harvest of the current year and the ancient journey through the wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land.
The festival is observed today by living in very rough, temporary shelters for a week, perhaps on a porch or in a small shelter of some kind. The experience reminds everyone of the life-threatening conditions that God brought the forefathers through so that the current generation could enjoy his blessings in the land he brought them into.
But the mood is a party mood, not a feeling of toughing something out. The voluntary discomforts of the week are eclipsed by the joy of being land-owners now, descendants of slaves God rescued from Egypt.