Good evening all. I hope everyone had a good week and enjoyed the great weather we had. In just a few weeks it will officially be Spring and I wonder what we should expect in the way of temperatures. It will probably end up very cold on Easter Sunday. But enough of the small talk.
Last week we left off with the idea that in order to “finish strong” one must first begin the race. I hope all of us have settled that matter and that we are in the race at this very moment. So with that in mind let’s take a look how we should run the race. Later we will look at “fighting the good fight” and ” keeping the faith” as Paul declared in his letter to Timothy.
One of the biggest factors that influences the results of a race is how well the runner comes out of the starting blocks. The runner must have his feet firmly planted against the staring blocks and he must be very alert and ready for the sound of the starting gun. In our spiritual race we must have a solid foundation to plant our feet on and we must always be aware of the “encumbrances that so easily beset us” and cause us to lose our focus. Well then, what is this solid foundation? It is God’s Word. It is through it that the gospel was shared which led us to the point of starting the race to begin with. It becomes the solid foundation that we should start from every day of our lives. The encumbrances are those things that tend to interrupt us along the way and cause us to take our eyes off the goal. We bring these on ourselves sometimes and sometimes it is Satan placing roadblocks in our path to make us detour off course. In either case, the way we start the race is critical to how we finish.
Additionally, as we run our race it becomes even more important be to maintain our focus. It is so easy for us to be running a good, steady pace and then let our eyes glance at something off to the side. We think we are just going to take a quick look and before we know it we are off in the ditch. I know I find myself there much more often than I should. One of the results of getting in the ditch is that we can become stuck and we need someone to come along to help pull us out. I thank God that I’ve had several folks that have been able to do that for me in times past. A good lesson to learn here and then make it a goal for our life is to do everything we can to stay out of the ditch or at lease reduce the amount of times we are there and how long we stay. God help us all to do so!
So, as we have seen, to “finish strong” we must first start the race, we must start well with a firm foundation and as we run we must keep our focus on the task at hand. As we stay in God’s Word we will find that our ditch events become less frequent and the duration much shorter. Isn’t it amazing how His word is all we need when we place our total trust in Him?
Next week we will discuss “finishing strong” as we “fight the good fight” and, mind you, we are in a fight. May God richly bless you until then.