I’m not a runner but I know people who are. My hat’s off to them! They frequently talk about reaching a point of exhaustion while they’re running. They call it “hitting the wall…” But…they also say that if you continue to push forward, you eventually experience a burst of energy that will carry you through…“a runner’s high.”
We often compare life to a race. The Bible does, too! The Apostle Paul wrote…
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me…
– 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NLT)
I want to be able to say that at the end of my life…and you probably want that, too! Unfortunately, many people can’t make that claim. Instead, they look back and say “I wish I would have done things differently.”
Please understand…I’m not talking about living a mistake-free life. No one is perfect. Instead, I’m talking about embracing God’s plans for your life…and pursuing them to the finish.
But how? Here are three keys that will enable you run your race with confidence:
First, commit to finishing before you begin.
The word commit means to pledge yourself to a position. Commitment is more than a decision. It’s a determination to finish. You refuse to settle for 50%…or even 99%. And you don’t hop to something else just because it looks shiny and new.
As humans we lack the power to do this. That’s OK. God has already provided for us. Our part is to “Commit everything…to the Lord.” (Psalm 37:5 - NLT)
When you commit everything to God, he will be faithful to fulfill his promises…and you can successfully finish your race.
Second, know the scope of your commitments.
God asks every one of us to commit in several areas. Some, like loving Christ, serving others, and sharing life with people, apply to everybody.
God also asks for commitments in areas that are unique to you. For example, he might tell you to follow a certain career path, or volunteer for a particular organization.
Do you know what unique commitments God has for you? Paul did! In his letter to the Christians in Rome he wrote…
I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike.
– Romans 1:14 (NLT)
Finally…stay connected to Jesus, the finisher.
Your race will be long, and parts of it will be hard. If you don’t watch out you can become disillusioned or discouraged. Your faith can weaken. When tempted to slow down or quit, remember these instructions:
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us…by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
– Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
Jesus is not only cheering for you…he’s actually fighting for you to remain strong! He will complete what he’s started. Your part is to remain connected to him all the way to the end. Then you can say like Paul…I have remained faithful and the prize awaits!
Sounds pretty good…doesn’t it?!