‘I run straight for the finish line.’ 1 Corinthians 9:26 GNT
Long-distance runners don’t just focus on speed, but on endurance. They pace themselves so that as they approach the finish line, they can pull out all the stops. Paul said, ‘I run the race then with determination… I am my body’s sternest master for fear that… I should… be disqualified.’ (1 Corinthians 9:26–27 PHPS)
For long-distance runners, giving up isn’t an option. Despite delays and disappointments along the way, they know they’ll never be satisfied sitting on the sidelines cheering for those who’ve paid the price to run the race. So if you’re the kind of person who longs to fulfil your God-ordained purpose in life—give it everything you’ve got. Go for it, and don’t forget that the greater our talents, the greater our responsibility. It’s one thing to achieve success; it’s another thing to handle the pressures that go along with it. Keep your eyes on ‘Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.’ (Hebrews 12:2 NLT)
Having something great to look forward to enables you to endure. And God will expose you to opposition and criticism to strengthen your character. That way, when greater blessings and responsibilities come, you’ll be able to handle them. Success is only possible when you have a passion to cross the finish line. So the question is, can you pay the price? When the pressure is on, can you stand up like Nehemiah when he rebuilt Jerusalem’s walls and tell your opponents: ‘My work is too important to stop’ (Nehemiah 6:3 CEV)? If your answer is yes, fix your eye on the goal and run to the finish line.
SoulFood: Num 16–18, Mark 6:14–29, Ps 37: 8–15, Pr 11:3
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023