Running The Race

run

Hello Friends,

Something I heard and saw got me thinking. As I was writing, two big concepts came up. In fact, it was so big that I decided to split the posts. So bear with me if I point to the next post, in this post but they are connected.

Also in this post, I am going to point to the race we run as Christians like Paul talks about below as The Race for simplicity.

So something which I will go into more tomorrow caught my attention in the strangest of ways. As I was pondering these things, this verse came to mind…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7

 And that got me thinking… (watch out 🙂 )

Race… He has finished The Race…What do I know about a race…

Well, I will tell you I am no runner. I’ve never run a race before, but I have attempted to a couple of times. So here is what I know about a runner:

  1. You cannot run in one if you are not in good physical condition. Well, I guess you could attempt it, but it probably wouldn’t be a very successful race, and/ or you may end up hurting yourself.
  2. To start, some runners set up a schedule to condition their body and prepare them for runs. I’m thinking of something like a couch to 5K kinda thing – adding a little bit at a time and then adding more and more until the desired distance.
  3. The conditioning time can be brutal, especially to those that are not in the best of shape. Achy muscles, out of breath, the feeling like your heart is going to beat out of your chest if you go any further, so you take a break for fear of death (hmmm..)
  4. After conditioning for a bit, you get stronger, faster; you learn the limits your heart can take and increase the limits too.
  5. If you stop running especially for long periods of time, you need to start the conditioning over again. Your body doesn’t retain the conditioning from the previous time. Oh, and I do not like jello legs! lol

This got me thinking more… deeper…

In fact, there are an awful lot of similarities to what I know about running, and what I know about being a runner in The Race. Let’s compare the similarities and differences…

1.  You can run in The Race and not be in good physical condition but only because of Jesus.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

  However, these scriptures do not mean we do not need to condition….

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

1 Corinthians 15:33-34

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

1 John 3:8-10

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

Hebrews 10:26-29

2. Like runners, we condition. We can start off slowly and work our way up. We see that in the scriptures when they talk about a baby with milk and transitioning to meat.

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.  Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—  if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

1 Peter 2:1-3

Although. we also see when we are not pressing forward, but staying in the same place instead of growing in and through HIM; you know, when we are being stubborn. I can relate, to being stubborn, so much in my  attempts to become a runner or attempting to run in a race.

About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.

 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Hebrews 5:11-14

Similarly, we can train routinely for The Race.

Blessed is the man  who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2

 Ephesians 6:10-20 talks about what we need to wear for The Race.

3. Like conditioning for a race, it can be brutal, painful, tiring running in The Race.

 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

Hebrews 12:11-13

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.

 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

Hebrews 10:32-36

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Hebrews 12:3-4

To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;  when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

1 Corinthians 4:11-13

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way:

by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise.

We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

2 Corinthians 6:3-10

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

  4.Now this one is a bit of a tricky one. Unlike running, when we are running The Race, we can start out strong because of JESUS. Conversely, similar to running, when we condition over time we get can get stronger the more we condition.

Let me just put it this way… the Spirit will give you strength, the words you need when you need them, and intercede for you…

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

John 14:26 

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

John 16:13-14

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8:26-27

And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord. I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

Hebrews 10:15-16

Additionally, we are to train, and when we train we build endurance through Christ.

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:4 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.  But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

There are so many verses for the above, I could write a whole post about that and still not cover it all.

5. Also, like running, if we stop conditioning, we need to start again. I think that is best seen in these verses we have already covered:

About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.

 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Hebrews 5:11-14

Notice the “again”… Sometimes, the lessons we have already learned, we end up relearning because we have not been steadfast; we have not been continually training.

Oh to be like Paul and to be able to say…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7

There are some more things relating to this, as I mentioned above. Join me tomorrow as I dig in a bit deeper.

As Always Friends,

Be Blessed!

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: It’s okay take a break | Meditate on the Lord

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