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Momentum

Momentum, whether it be in spiritual matters, sports, business, or anything else in life is a very interesting and powerful unseen force in regards to moving forward. As I thought about it, this study began to develop. What stood out to me the most was the defining characteristic of that which is moving, rather than sitting or standing still. There can be no momentum where there is no movement.

 

“For all momentum’s vagary, [Dr. David] Caldwell said it typically includes two fundamental tenets: a feeling of force enacted upon a body, and a direction in which that force is moving. It’s both a sensation and a physical push in a new direction.” (“Is momentum real? An in-depth investigation of sports’ most overused term” by David Hale, www.espn.com)

 

   “One night I had a vivid dream which deeply impacted my life and altered the course of my work. In the dream, I was walking along a mountain trail that was strewn with rocks of various shapes and sizes. The rocks represented different unreached people groups. Some were huge and others relatively small, but all were deeply entrenched in the soil on the side of the mountain. As I walked along, I tried to push them loose so that they would tumble down into the valley below. I sat down on the ground and used my legs to push against the stubborn boulders with all my might, but they didn’t budge from the positions in which they had been entrenched for centuries.

   In my dream I grew frustrated by my lack of progress, when all of a sudden groups of Asian men and women approached me on the trail. Seeing what I was trying to do, they immediately began to dig away dirt and pebbles from around the base of a large boulder. Now that many hands were involved in the same task, the boulder finally began to move. When it lurched onto its side we let out a great victory shout! We began shoving and kicking it some more, and it finally rolled over again. Before long, the seemingly immovable boulder was careening down the side of the mountain, crushing everything in its path as it gathered momentum…

   …through this vivid dream, He refined my call and revealed what the main focus was to be for the rest of my life. My role wasn’t to personally try to start churches among Asia’s unreached peoples, but to dislodge rocks and pebbles by raising prayer and awareness within the Body of Christ. After a while, with God’s anointing, Christian fellowships would be established among those groups. As the gospel continued to spread, the communities of believers in each ethnic group would gather their own momentum and would prove impossible for the devil to stop…”

(“An Asian Harvest”; an autobiography by Paul Hattaway, p.148-149)

 

 

“Momentum” Definitions:

 

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

  • A property of a moving body that the body has by virtue of its mass [“a lump; a collective body of matter; an assemblage”] and motion and that is equal to the product of the body's mass and velocity.

  • broadly: A property of a moving body that determines the length of time required to bring it to rest when under the action of a constant force or moment.

  • Strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events:

“The wagon gained momentum as it rolled down the hill.”

  • The characteristic of a moving body that is caused by its mass and its motion.

 

Cambridge Dictionary:

“Once you push it, it keeps going under its own momentum.”

“The spacecraft will fly around the earth to gain/gather momentum for its trip to Jupiter.”

“The play loses momentum (= becomes less interestingenergetic, etc.) by its half way stage.”

“In an attempt to give new momentum to their plans, the committee set a date for starting detailed discussions.”

“A falling object gains momentum as it falls.”

“Technology seems to create its own momentum – if something can be done, it will be.”

 

 

Spiritual examples:

  • Nehemiah – opposing forces try to stop the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem (Nehemiah 4-5)

  • Contrary Winds Bible study (see the note below for Mark 6:45-52)

  • Exodus 14:13-15 – “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.’”

  • Ephesians 6:10-17 – v.14; “having girded [4024- a state of readiness/preparedness for service, for movement, etc.] your loins [3751- “the seat of generative power”] with truth …”

  • Revelation 3:14-22 – The Lord’s rebuke of the Laodicean Christians who were “lukewarm.” I see this as an attribute of those who are standing still spiritually, not moving together with the leading of the Holy Spirit. There’s no momentum because there is no motion.

 

 

From Spurgeon’s morning and evening devotional:

 

“The Lord trieth the righteous.” (Psalm 11:5)

 

All events are under the control of Providence; consequently all the trials of our outward life are traceable at once to the great First Cause. Out of the golden gate of God's ordinance the armies of trial march forth in array, clad in their iron armour, and armed with weapons of war. All providences are doors to trial. Even our mercies, like roses, have their thorns. Men may be drowned in seas of prosperity as well as in rivers of affliction. Our mountains are not too high, and our valleys are not too low for temptations: trials lurk on all roads. Everywhere, above and beneath, we are beset and surrounded with dangers. Yet no shower falls unpermitted from the threatening cloud; every drop has its order ere it hastens to the earth. The trials which come from God are sent to prove and strengthen our graces, and so at once to illustrate the power of divine grace, to test the genuineness of our virtues, and to add to their energy. Our Lord in His infinite wisdom and superabundant love, sets so high a value upon His people's faith that He will not screen them from those trials by which faith is strengthened. You would never have possessed the precious faith which now supports you if the trial of your faith had not been like unto fire. You are a tree that never would have rooted so well if the wind had not rocked you to and fro, and made you take firm hold upon the precious truths of the covenant grace. Worldly ease is a great foe to faith; it loosens the joints of holy valour, and snaps the sinews of sacred courage. The balloon never rises until the cords are cut; affliction doth this sharp service for believing souls. While the wheat sleeps comfortably in the husk it is useless to man, it must be threshed out of its resting place before its value can be known. Thus it is well that Jehovah trieth the righteous, for it causeth them to grow rich towards God.

 

 

Mark 6:45-52See the note below. (This is from the Bible study Contrary Winds.)

45 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida [“house to hunt or fish”/“place of fishing, place of hunting”], while He Himself was sending the crowd away. [See Mark 8:22-26 about Jesus healing a blind man at Bethsaida.]

46 After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray.

47 When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land.

48 Seeing them straining [928] at the oars [1643- “to drive, impel, urge on”], for the wind was against [1727- KJV: “…for the wind was contrary unto them.”] them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came [2064- “to come; i.e. to appear, make one’s appearance, come before the public”] to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them.

49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out [like the woman in Rev. 12:2];

50 for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, "Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid."

51 Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished,

52 for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.

NASU

 

NT:928 basanizo (bas-an-id'-zo)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:931; to torture:

KJV - pain, toil, torment, toss, vex.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1.   properly, to test (metals) by the touchstone [See chapter eight called The Touchstone in my book 911; God’s Last Offer To The Church.]

2.   to question by applying torture

3.   to torture

4.   universally, to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment [severe physical or mental suffering]: tina (Matthew 8:29)

5.   Passive to be harassed, distressed (Mark 6:48)

 

basanizo [NT:928] - properly signifies "to test by rubbing on the touchstone" (basanos, "a touchstone"), then, "to question by applying torture"; hence "to vex, torment"; in the passive voice, "to be harassed, distressed"; it is said of men struggling in a boat against wind and waves (Matthew 14:24), RV, "distressed" (KJV, "tossed"); (Mark 6:48), RV, "distressed" (KJV, toiling). See PAIN, TOIL, TORMENT, VEX.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

NT:1727 enantios (en-an-tee'-os)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:1725; opposite; figuratively, antagonistic:

KJV - (over) against, contrary.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon”)

over against; opposite

1.   used primarily of place; opposite, contrary: of the wind (Matthew 14:24)

2.   metaphorically, opposed as an adversary, hostile, antagonistic in feeling or act (1 Thess. 2:15)

 

enantios [1727] - "over against" (en, "in," antios, "against"), is used primarily of place (Mark 15:39); of an opposing wind (Matthew 14:24; Mark 6:48; Acts 27:4); metaphorically, opposed as an adversary, antagonistic (Acts 26:9; 1 Thess. 2:15; Titus 2:8; Acts 28:17), "against."

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

   The disciples, while attempting to go to “the other side to Bethsaida [“house to hunt or fish”/“place of fishing, place of hunting”],” as commanded by Jesus, found themselves “straining at the oars, for the wind was against them.” When a follower of Jesus Christ attempts to cross over, per His will, the enemy will be allowed to test, harass, and torment you. A seemingly hopeless situation will be used to deal with the imperfections of the flesh, and to build your trust in Him. It is not to destroy you. Rather, it’s God’s way of cleansing and pruning you so that you will be made perfect, lacking nothing necessary to completeness in Him (James 1:2-4), finished, of full-grown stature in Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13), made ready for the place of your calling, your place of “landing.” (See the insight from Deuteronomy 2:26-31 in the Bible study The Dominion Mandate. One of the definitions for King Sihon’s name is “tempestuous” which means “turbulent; rough with wind; as tempestuous weather; a tempestuous night; blowing with violence; as a tempestuous wind.” He is a picture of the devil’s contrary winds that come against every believer so as to protect his stolen dominion over mankind. The good news is that through our obedience to His will, the Lord will, as He did with Sihon, deliver him into our hands, under our feet, under our dominion.)

   This is the way of suffering that Jesus showed us so as to be made ready for His glory as He was through the cross. You cannot avoid it, it’s the only way to become stain free and gain His glory. It is in the times of extreme weariness of toiling against the “contrary winds” (KJV) during the extreme exhaustion of the “fourth watch of the night” (3-6am), that Jesus will come and calm our storm by removing that which has come against us. It was the last watch before the dawning of a new day. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and the Bible studies The Appearing And Perfecting, and Wholly Illumined No Dark Part.)

   This is where striving against our adversary, the devil, comes into play for the Christian. We read in Luke 13:24 where Jesus said; “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” (NASU) The Greek for “strive” is agonizomai (ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee) which is defined as “to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), to contend with adversaries, to fight, to endeavor with strenuous zeal.” To not contend against our adversary is to not make it to the other side. The Lord is the only one who can calm that which has come up against us on our way, safely delivering us to the promised place of our eternal inheritance in Himself (see the Bible study Outer Darkness). Essentially, our contending with the enemy is to stand firm in the Lord, believing what He has said, while at the same time looking for His strength to lead us in His victory.

 

 

  • In regards to momentum in faith, past experience seems to play a key role. From the past I have seen God do some incredible, even miraculous things. When I begin to see, or should I say sense the force of God (i.e. Holy Spirit) moving in a certain manner, situation or direction I have confidence to continue moving together with Him, thereby building spiritual momentum against our opposing forces from hell. When I doubt, or walk in unbelief, I will hesitate or even stop moving thereby halting any momentum that was occurring. This is what the devil constantly attempts to do. If he can get us to stop working together with the Holy Spirit things bog down against him. Fear is a special and effective tool of choice of his. When allowed to rest in our hearts we freeze in our motion forward. There are times when we stop moving forward and rest when we should be continuing forward in our journey to the Promised Land of our spiritual inheritance in Christ.

 

  • Jonathan and his sword are a great biblical example (1 Samuel 14:1-23). Someone needs to, by faith, “get the ball rolling,” so to speak. Others, encouraged by what they see or hear, then join themselves together with the “movement” of God and it picks up speed. At that point, momentum is gained as the mass picks up more mass while moving forward.

 

  • Characteristics of spiritual momentum: faith, hope, trust, perseverance

 

  • Hebrews 11 – Individual pictures of spiritual momentum are seen in “the hall of faith” (Hebrews 11).



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