How many of you want to live the life that God has planned for you?
How many of you want to live a life of faith?
How many of you want to run the race that is set before you?
Have many of you want to WIN the race that is set before you?
I not only want to run and finish my race, but I want to win my race. But how many of you know that you aren’t going to run, let alone win a marathon if you can’t even run a mile. Or if you’re like me, can’t even run a block… Okay, I can’t even run down the drive away without losing my breath! I’m not a runner. However, I could train myself to run, the only problem is I have no desire to run. So, do you have a desire to run the race, or live the life God has planned for you?
Hebrews 12:1-2; Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
What’s dedication? -The quality of being dedicated or wholly committed to a task or purpose.
- 2 Timothy 4:7- “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
- Luke 6:12- “Now it came to pass in those days that when He went out to the mountains to pray, He continued all night in prayer to God.”
- Luke 5:16- “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”
You have to make a decision that you are going to life by faith, do what God’s called you to do, go where He tells you to go and be obedient no matter what happens along the way. Jesus took time to draw near to God and grow in the things of God. He finished His race and it’s because His goal, the focus of His life, was to win it! Athletes are focused on one goal- to win the gold. They don’t go back and forth, they make a decision and follow through.
- Be Single-Minded
- James 1:6-8 – “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
- Colossians 3:2 – “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
We cannot live a faith-filled life if we are double-minded. Being double-minded is essentially the same thing as having zero faith.
- DisciplineTraining and correction.
You are going to have to discipline yourself to stay focused and not get tired. Satan will try to distract you and get you off track to keep you from running your race.
- James 1:14 – “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away or lured by his own desires and enticed.”
- James 4:7 – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
There are times when it’s not fun being responsible and committed, but we have to push through the hard, not-so-fun times in order to train ourselves to be the athlete we need to be.
I am dancer, or used to be I should say. As a dancer, athlete, musician, you must train yourself in your niche and discipline yourself to practice and study that particular trade or sport. I spent at least 2 hours, 4 days a week dancing or training in dance to get better and build up endurance to dance well. My friends got so tried of asking me to do things with them that they finally stopped asking! They knew I was always at the dance studio in class and/or rehearsing/practicing.
You won’t get any better at something if you don’t practice!
Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.
That’s right… it takes WORK. You can’t expect to accomplish much if you don’t put effort into it.
- Proverbs 13:4 – “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”
- Proverbs 13:23 – “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. “
All of these things; Dedication, discipline, keeping focus or being single-minded and hard work will teach you to push through and produce in you the endurance or patience needed.
- James 1:2-4 – “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
What’s endurance? The power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving away or giving up.
You won’t run, let alone, win a marathon if you don’t have the patience or endurance to train or build up to it.
- How do we accomplish these things?
- Looking unto Jesus
- Relationship with God
- Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith
We have to set our eyes on Jesus. We cannot be looking around at every distraction, every little problem or even people. We have to be focused on Jesus and listen for His voice.
- Peter walking on the water (Matt 14:22-32)
- Faith – Complete trust or confidence in someone or something
Faith is trusting God in every situation.
Trusting God is simply being confident and secure in His love for you.
- James 5:6-7 – “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
Know that God cares for you and He has plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13). You are His child and He has said that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
- If you don’t know God in a personal way, get to know Him!
As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts I grew up in a Christian home, went to church all the time and remember asking Jesus to come into my heart at 4 years old. I knew Jesus died a cross to save the world from their sins, but I thought that’s where the greatness of the cross ended. I didn’t know God Himself thought of me as His own beloved child. His very own. As I am a part of my parent’s DNA, I am part of God’s DNA as well. (I John 3:1, Romans 8:16, Matthew 7:11)
I didn’t understand that by His stripes I was healed. Period. No loop holes, no exceptions, it’s not based on how “good” or “bad” I am, but by His grace (love) alone I WAS healed when Jesus took the stripes for me. (Isaiah 53:5, I Peter 2:24, Matthew 9:35, Psalm 103:3)
I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to worry about anything because He takes my cares for me if I let Him. (Matthew 6:30-34, I Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:19)
Once I started learning and gaining knowledge of who God really is, and experiencing a personal relationship with Him (a relationship like you have with your best friend), I was able to trust Him and let Him lead me which way I should go in life. My life today is nothing like I thought or imagined when I was little, or even 4 years ago. He has brought me to some amazing things that have become my greatest desire. I never thought I’d have a blog where I would share the things He shows me, but I love it! I never thought that I would teach people of all ages what God has taught me and it’s turned out to be one of the things I enjoy most in life! I never wanted to go to Bible school, but I did and I am so glad I did. I even work at the Bible school now. My point is learning who God really is through a personal relationship with Him has changed my life and I know it can change your life too!
Are you willing to discipline yourself to run the race. When your muscles start aching and you’re tired and feel like you can’t go on, that’s when you have to dig deep and say, “Jesus, I’m looking to you and I WILL finish my race strong and win!”
And then, just like Jesus, when we have endured and ran the race, laying aside every weight and focusing on God and we can cross the finish line a victorious winner!