Sunday, December 30, 2012

Steady Race

Steady Race
Dec 31, 2012
Hebrews 10:36  "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."

I am not a runner, as least not for long distances.  I don't like to run for very long; it makes my heart pound harder and louder.  My lungs tighten and it feels like I am breathing through a little red drinking straw.  Apparently, those symptoms suggest that my cardiovascular health needs strengthening.  Maybe I should run more, for longer distances than from the couch to the refrigerator.  But that would require effort, a considerable amount of effort and time, maybe even aforethought.  It would be the right thing to do for my overall health.  Doctors all agree that daily physical exercise is required to maintain a healthy lifestyle, with running being a very good way to accomplish that.  A goal of one day running a marathon would be a great idea.

A person cannot, however, start running a marathon if he has never run before.  It takes daily practice to get up to that level, daily practice with increasing levels of intensity.  This is the same with our Christianity.  A person cannot be a successful Christian, living righteously everyday, having never done it before.  It takes daily practice with increasing levels of intensity.  The Apostle Paul likens the Christian lifestyle to running a race, like a marathon.  He said we all should run our Christian race as to get the prize (he wants us to WIN).  He knew that running and winning a race required training and daily commitment, steady commitment.  It isn't for the timid or weak in heart.  And just as a marathon isn't a sprinting-kind-of race, but requires a steady pace, so is our Christian race.  It isn't a sprint to the finish; it requires a slower, more calculated cadence.  AND it requires perseverance.

In running, if you don't persevere but give up before the race is over, then you will not win.  It is absurd to consider running a marathon, persevering to the last few feet of the race and stop short of completion.  Of course the runner would want to cross the finish line, but he still must take the last few steps, continuing in his race.  While you may not be near the end of your race, you have certainly entered it and have run a considerable distance.  It is foolish to throw that hard effort away, reverting back to a pre-Christian lifestyle.  You must continue in your race, putting forth the daily effort that is required.  You cannot expect to sprint later on in life hoping to catch up and possibly win; you must keep running the race set before you with perseverance.  It requires a steady pace to get you to the end
Yes, your legs may be tired and your muscles might be sore.  Yes, the road has not been easy.  But you cannot give up.  In fact, this next year is an opportunity to push harder, stronger, and with even more fortitude than ever before.  Your marathon will not end until the Lord invites you home.  Until then, it is up to you to run with perseverance, running in such a way as to get the prize and WIN!  The enemy does not want you to win; he wants you to quit the race altogether.  This new year, determine you are going to run the best you have ever run before.  Persevere through the difficulty; the Lord has promised a reward if you do.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:   1 Cor 9:24, Gal 2:2, Gal 5:7, Heb 12:1-3

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