Runners that train hard with their eyes fixed on the goal will have great success. Runners that lose focus while training will never reach their true potential. It doesn’t matter how hard they were training at first if they lose track of what they are training for and stop working hard before race day. How can a runner run with passion if he doesn’t know what he is running for? How can a runner reach a goal that he has never set? If a runner wants to perform to the best of their ability they must aim for the sky and reach past where they currently reside. If a runner lives in the present he is already beaten. He must train with the end in mind. He must live every minute of every day for the future if he wants to receive his prize.
If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God you were not made for here. Yet so often we easily get caught up with what is happening here and what the world has to offer. The world offers so many distractions that try to steal our attention. And what is at the center of most every distraction? Pleasure. If we don’t know God we run after things that stimulate our senses. If we don’t know God our joy and our happiness comes from what we can see, what we can experience, what we can touch, and what we can taste. How easily we can drift from finding our happiness in God to trying to find our happiness in the fleeting pleasures of this life. The only way for us to successfully navigate through the race and all its distractions is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and the prize that awaits those that follow Him, eternal life.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
Over the next several hours after receiving the message my mind was consumed with the words this person had said. I felt a great weight of worry resting on my shoulders. I had trouble understanding what they were saying in the message and I wasn’t sure what the truth was. I began to doubt myself. I began to doubt my ministry. I was struggling pretty badly.
Before going to bed that night I prayed to God for clarity and understanding. I prayed that He show me the truth. He answered. I woke up the next morning feeling very light. I instantly knew there was no truth in the accusations and I knew I was walking in that truth. I wrote a message back to this person and the words flowed from my fingers with ease. I knew what I had to do. I had to press on and keep working hard for God no matter what obstacle I faced and no matter what anyone said to me.
A few hours after sending my response message I received another message from someone that I know is deeply in love with our Lord. This message said exactly what I was feeling at that moment. The message was simply, ‘Keep shining your light.’ I thanked this person and I thanked God for His encouragement and His reassurance of the work I had been doing. I was at peace. That very night I received my dream. What was the message that God wanted me to understand in the dream? Things in this life will try to trip me up and slow me down. But I must keep focused on God and keep running as fast as I can go. Time is almost up. I must keep shining my light all the way to the finish line.
Could there be anything more exciting than a true follower crossing the finish line and standing face to face with their creator? Whether we prepare or not that day is coming for everyone. The finish line is fast approaching. But unlike a runner, we don’t train before our race. The race is our training. It readies us and prepares us to stand in God’s presence.
Right now you are in a race that determines eternal life. None of us know how many laps we have left before the finish line so we should give everything we have on every one. Every step that we take and every breath that we breathe should be done in a way to help propel us towards that final destination. We must run with purpose and passion.
There will be many obstacles during our race. They come in all shapes and sizes and often times come when we are running our hardest. When we love on people satan will be after us. When God is changing hearts through our work we will have a target on our backs. The only way to survive the attacks is to keep our eyes on the prize. The only way to not get caught up in this world is to have our focus elsewhere. We must look past where we currently reside and reach for heavenly places. We must always run with the end in mind. We must always be looking up.
Come quickly Lord Jesus!