The Zone


The Zone

There is a place that a runner can get to when he runs. Some have called it the ‘runner’s high’. Others call it ‘the zone’. It is a place where everything seems to mesh together. In this place everything is right and nothing is wrong. The body and the mind meet and become one. They move into a realm of helping each other rather than fighting each other. Everything is in sync and nothing hinders the run. The lungs are breathing easy. The leg muscles pump with vitality, and the heart is beating at a healthy rate. It is a situation where the mind has conquered matter. A place of no pain and a peace pervades the body. It is a habitation where every runner would like to find himself in with every run he makes. Though it does not happen often, a runner looks for that place and welcomes it when and if it arrives. Nothing can hinder or stop your progress. All systems are go. All communication between the matter (body) and the mind are one. It is a powerful and euphoric feeling. When you are in ‘the zone’ it seems as though you can run forever.

Such is the place where I love to get in the Spirit. A place where the flesh is no longer fighting with the Spirit. Where the body is subservient to the will of God. When this happens, and it doesn’t happen often, a peace that passes all understanding is able to envelop me and my walk is not burdened but I enter a zone that leaves this world behind. A habitation of ‘at one ment’ with the Spirit of God. One with the Word. One with the preacher. One with the ministry. No wonder King David said he felt like he could leap over a wall and run through a troop. No wonder when he took six paces and the Spirit overcame him and he danced before the Lord with all his might. How could he not praise Him when he saw the ark was moving and he knew that God was pleased? How could he not dance, shout, and sacrifice when he got a glimpse of the bigger picture? The ark was returning to Jerusalem. The glory of the Lord was ready to return! My God, I get excited just thinking about it! Perfect love casteth out all fear! When you are able to overcome the deceptions of the devil and step into to sync with the moving of God’s will, the anointing overtakes you. Nothing seems impossible. No person can hinder you. You feel like you can and want to run for the Lord forever!

There is one thing for sure. You do not just enter into the zone without working to get there. Though ‘work’ is a terrible four letter word in the new millennium, it is still the only way to get anywhere in life. There is no way around this simple principle. Nothing in life is free! If we are to enjoy the fruit of our labor we must first labor to get the fruit. It is a simple calculation. No labor; no fruit. Paul said if we sow sparingly, we shall only reap sparingly. A farmer would be one weird fella to sow one seed of corn in his field and then be resentful when a whole field of corn does not come to harvest. But if we sow bountifully, then we can expect a bountiful harvest. Pretty simple. If you feel like you lack in God, you must first examine your efforts, because your harvest is only a reflection of your efforts. The reason many people cannot find rest is because there has been no labor to bring forth rest. Sure they are always busy, but not busy in the things that bring forth true rest. He said to labor that ye enter into the rest. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)

Our culture has made life so easy and labor free that it has impacted the mind set of the masses. This generation expects things that their forefathers worked hard to achieve. This spirit of a welfare society has infiltrated the mind set of our society. Where all this technology was once thought to help set us free, it has actually stolen from us the blessings that come from hard work and labor. Automobiles, telephones, televisions, instant communication, internet, computers, microwaves, etc. have made life so easy that we expect life to work like these gadgets. But life is not so. Nothing of value usually comes easy. There is a saying, give a man a fish and he lives for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for life. I can remember the difference between the time my parents bought me my first car and the time when I bought my own car. There was a big difference between my attitude toward the car that was given to me and the attitude I had toward the car that I worked to make the payments toward. It didn’t bother me as much when I got a ding in the parking lot on the car that was given to me as when the car I was spending my own money (time and labor) to purchase got a ding in it. I wanted to wring the person’s neck who nicked it. Why? Because it meant more to me because I was making the payments. It was the fruit of my labor. I wanted to protect it. Sure you can get a revelation from the Pastor and this is a great possession to have, but there is something different about studying for yourself and in your labor, you get the understanding of a principle for yourself. It’s one thing to watch someone go through a trial, it’s another to labor through your own trial. As you go through the trial you gain from your labor and experiences that no one will ever be able to take away from you. When you get it for yourself, no one can take it away from you!

The gospel is not just a one time event of obedience. It is an on going daily repudiation of this flesh. Death, burial, and resurrection. We always like to discuss the resurrection. How that we shall be like Him upon His return. We imagine how we will have glorified bodies and will no longer be pulled by the appetites of the flesh. The power of the resurrection! Yet, we will never see the resurrection without fellow-shipping in His sufferings. The servant is not greater than his master. If He suffered, we must also likewise suffer. If Jesus put the enmity on the cross we must also put that same enmity on the cross of suffering. I noticed the other day that I had to put the same principles into action in order to reach ‘the zone’ of a runner. The alarm clock went off and the body went to crying and whining. ‘Turn the alarm off. Go back to bed!’, it cried. I had to rebuke it. I had to tell it to shut-up. I had to look beyond the temporal feelings of the flesh. I went down stairs to run and the flesh complained all the way. Yet I still maintained my vision. I had to tell myself that it was for my own good to put this body through some vigorous exercise. It was for my good that I got up early and made this body scream and break a sweat. So here I found myself (of course in the natural) suffering from the labor of exercise. The flesh screamed for the first three miles. Muscles cried out. Aches said bad things to try and get me to stop…then…at around the three mile mark something happened. The aches stopped aching. The cries began to dissipate. The pain and suffering that the body was magnifying seemed to just disappear. I had stepped into ‘the zone’; the ever so elusive ‘runner’s high’. Yes, it was here that I felt like I could have run a hundred miles without stopping. All systems were go. Everything was working as one. The mind and the body were unified as one. Though I was running at a high level, I felt incredibly awesome.

I took a moment of contemplation to remind myself what it took to get to this place. That without the suffering I would have never felt the benefits of ‘the zone’. Without enduring the momentary whims and pain of the flesh, I would have never entered into this place of rest. If I would have listened to the matter of the body, I would have never entered the ‘runner’s place of rest’. As it is in the natural, so it is with the spiritual. We cannot expect to experience the power of the resurrection without enduring sound doctrine that crucifies the flesh. We cannot enter into His rest, if we refuse to pick up our cross. There are times in church that we enter into His rest. The Holy Ghost comes down and sweeps through our service and the pains of the flesh are put in check. It is as though we enter that ‘runner’s high’ in the spirit. Where the body of Christ and the Head of the Body become one (mind over matter) and in this place, a feeling of invincibility overcomes us. A place of peace and rest. But this does not come every service and it is a place that only comes when the body is able to be pushed through it’s carnal circumstances until the benefits of this place can be experienced. We need not lightly esteem it when it comes, but we need to cherish it.

There is one thing I know, I enjoy reaching this place in running so much, that I now have a vision to work toward it. I pray that we as a body can also work toward that similar place in Christ. Where we are laboring together, speaking the same things, and being of one mind. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit so that all of us can enjoy the peace of His rest in our services and also in our lives.


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