Choose to Run

Students love to race. Whether it be on a field, or in a classroom, they enjoy competing against each other.

In order to help my students stay on task as they completed their book projects, I decided to time them.

How much are they going to accomplish in a period of time? I wanted to measure their progress. I even told them that there’s a prize for the student(s) who finish their work.

“Ready, set, go!” I informed my students.

I watched them sketch, color, and give life to the books they were writing before them. It was awesome. Great job! I noted in my mind. I was proud of them.  

“1 more minute,” I told them.

Their hands moved quickly, as they finished what they could complete in the last 60 seconds.

“5-4-3-2-1!” I announced.

Walking around to monitor their progress, I reviewed their book illustrations.

One of their pictures stood out to me. It was a picture of a person standing with their arms and legs crossed. It read, “Six hours later…” That person looked complacent, like they hadn’t done much in the last six hours.

“Who won the prize?” one of my other students asked me.  

“Who finished?” I asked.

One of my students seemed discouraged and doubtful. He said out loud that he didn’t even want the prize.

Another student was able to finish one of his pictures. He was racing; I could tell he wanted to win the prize.

The last student was all in—he fought hard to finish; he even stayed after class to wrap up what he started.  

The Bible says, 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. 1 Corinthians 9:24.

Convicted to the core in my soul, I begged God for mercy. Who am I? I wondered. The person standing with their arms and legs crossed, not progressing in their walk with the Lord? Who are you? Are you experiencing doubt? Discouragement? Are you allowing God to finish His work in you? Are you fighting the good fight of faith?  

I don’t know about you, but I want to move forward in my walk, grow, and work in His name like there’s no tomorrow—like there’s a timer counting down; like Jesus could come back for His Bride any moment. I want Him to find me doing the Father’s will. Like a couple of my sisters in the Lord who have passed away in the last year, I want to leave this earth having left not my own mark, but His mark on hearts and souls who need the gospel—His love.  

If you are a Christian and have entered the race of faith, continue to press forward. Get rid of everything that God is pointing to you as a sin in your life. Self-denial is painful, but a decision to align ourselves with the will of God is far greater in the long run than being temporarily satisfied in our bodies here. Even now, I ask myself—what is it in my life that I’m placing above Him? What if He asked me to do something that is so beyond what I consider comfortable here? I need to be ready to say, “Yes, Lord.”

Perhaps, God is calling you to prepare and train even more for the race ahead of you. You believe in Him, but you’re not exercising your faith muscles at all. You’re doing whatever you want—you’re not pursuing His will for your life. I encourage you to study the Word of God fiercely. Be committed. Get help. There are so many resources nowadays that encourage us to read the Word of God and be consumed with Him. Go to a Bible teaching church. Enroll in a Bible class, sign up for a Bible app, say “Yes” to God’s call. Most of all, cry out to Jesus in your weaknesses. Ask the Lord for self-control, and for strength to endure this race upward, towards heaven.

Lastly, if you have yet to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can make the choice to receive Him into your heart right now. Romans 10:9 says, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. But don’t stop there. Pursue God with all your heart. He loves you so much and wants the best for you. Don’t look back on what you might be missing out on in the world—just look straight ahead. Call another Christian sister or friend. Ask for prayer and with confidence in Jesus Christ, start your race of faith in Him.

Father, forgive me for any laziness or complacency in my walk with You. Our time on earth is so short—our life is but a vapor. Help me God, in this race of faith. Give us self-control; give us strength to endure. Take over. The only things that will last are those things that have been in You, Lord Jesus. Have Your way in and through us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

7 Promises for your Creative HeArt:

But listen, my friends—we don’t mean to discourage you completely with such talk. We are convinced that you are made for better things, the things of salvation, because God is not unjust or unfair. He won’t overlook the work you have done or the love you have carried to each other in His name while doing His work, as you are still doing. We want you all to continue working until the end so that you’ll realize the certainty that comes with hope and not grow lazy. We want you to walk in the footsteps of the faithful who came before you, from whom you can learn to be steadfast in pursuing the promises of God. Hebrews 6:9-12.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit” whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:13-17.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 2:18.

 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. Matthew 24:36.

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Matthew 5:21.

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