Focused Running


The apostle Paul parallels the Christian’s journey to heaven to a race in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. He does not imply the race will be short. For this reason, many quickly enter and start their race at such a rapid pace only to wear out later - never finishing. In Hebrews 12:1, we are encouraged to run this race without weights and sin, but with endurance, which makes our life in Christ more like a marathon than a 100-meter dash. Hopefully, the following will help you become successful in your race toward heaven:

Every race begins with the first step. Whether it is teaching a soul, prayer, Bible study, or an act of hospitality, the task appears larger and more difficult than you might expect, get started! Noah could never build the ark without cutting the first tree. Paul’s missionary journeys started in the first city he entered. Elders begin with obeying the gospel. Good children are won at the cradle.

Maintain your form. Becoming a Christian sets a person’s heart toward morality, respect, obedience, love, and a conscientious thinking process that is careful of the things thought, done, or said. We may begin with zeal, enthusiasm, and plenty of spiritual energy, but will we keep that up? If you consider 2 Peter 1:5-10, adding to your faith is a gradual procedure. It is forming the character of a person whose will is set in being all God wants a person to be. Along the way, you have to remind yourself to be fruitful (v. 8), remember your sins were removed by the blood of Christ (v. 9), and give diligence to what it is you have decided to do - live for Christ (v. 10). Be steadfast and immovable (1 Corinthians 15:58).

If every bit helps, every little quit hurts. The more you practice a thing, the better you are at it. The more you work on conditioning your spiritual life, the better you are at resisting temptation, extending kindness, living without murmuring, overcoming temptation, and making wiser choices. All this comes from daily meditation, prayer, focus, study of the Bible, and the company of Christians. But imagine yourself removed from one day, one week, or one month from study, prayer, etc. It can and will be damaging to your spiritual well-being. Believing this tip to be true will breed consistency in your activity and behavior.

Increasing your goals minimizes laziness and indifference. The Christian is always trying to master God’s commands. Perfecting them is a life-long task. One hindrance to this for many is becoming self-satisfied, bored, and then quitting. They quit because they think they are done - finished. They feel they have done all they were supposed to do (Luke 17:10). No one said it was time to quit running. Always demand more and more of yourself, because God does.