Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. -I Corinthians 9:24-27 (NKJV)
If you have read my other blog, “Happiness, Health, and Brighter Outlook” you know over the last couple of years I have become extremely health conscious. Each day I seek to practice 30-40 minutes of intense calisthenics. I confess I was beginning to think I was in fairly good shape. That is until my son, an avid runner, invited me to go running with him last Saturday. He suggested I take my exercise routine up a notch and join him for a run at a local park. The course, around two and a half miles, took us through trails, uphill through wooded forests, around a paved track, back through the woods, and eventually to where we started. I thought of the late comedian Grady Nutt who said he went running one day and after a short distance his lungs were screaming at his legs, “Where are we?” To put it simply, I thought I was going to die.
Paul the Apostle likened the Christian faith to running a race. He stated how we are called to run our race with the goal of winning the prize. In order to do this, however, we must run with all our strength – everything we have. If we run half-heartedly, timidly, and not giving a complete effort, we will not be able to finish the course set before us. However, if by faith we move forward seeking all the strength the Lord has promised we will run our race with confidence and in the awesome power of God. God will empower us through the Holy Spirit to finish the course He has set before us. Ours is to be faithful; ever trusting the Lord Jesus to give us the strength we need even when we feel we can go no further.
I frequently encounter believers who are not functioning anywhere near their full potential. Christ calls us to go deeper, take our faith to another level, become stronger than ever before, and experience depths of grace unlike anything previously experienced. By the power of the Holy Spirit we will know the fresh touch of the power of God.
My son wants me to begin running with him on a regular basis. I may do this and take my exercise routine to another level. Similarly, the Lord calls us to go deeper into our walk with Him. Do not be afraid, for the Lord will do great works in our lives. Christ will be exalted and we will be blessed – in Jesus’ name.