Are you a runner? I used to be. Now, most days I just walk, and as I walk, I dream of running. And not just a couple of miles, but a marathon. Not just any marathon, but an Iron-Man type – which is a painfully enduring race of the survivalist, an agonizing variety. But then I come to my senses and tell myself, “No. Power-walking is good. Good enough.”
Still, even though I’ve never run a marathon, I do know a little about those who run them. For instance, if a marathon runner focuses too much on the distance he has already come, he may be satisfied with his progress and become unaware of his next steps. If he gives too much attention to the people lining the path, he will get distracted. If he obsesses too much on the finish line, so far in the distance that it can’t be seen, he will get discouraged. But if he keeps his eye on the runner in front of him, it will help motivate him to keep going, keep his mind is in the race, and his goals clear. He keeps pressing ahead.
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you are a marathon runner – spiritually speaking. As believers in the race of faith, we have a runner in front of us, He isn’t a part of the competition though. He is our Friend, our Pacesetter, our Leader. Although many other believers focus on the past, the sidelines, or the finish line – or any number of other distractions – we know to focus on a Person. That’s because we don’t win the race by accomplishing great things, impressing other people, or either clinging to or avoiding the past. We put everything behind us and press on toward the goal. And what is the goal? Being like Jesus. Not medals, not accolades, not money or power or status. Our one assessment in this world as followers of Jesus is to be conformed to His image. And the only way to be conformed to His image is to keep our eyes on Him at all times and in every way.
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
As runners in the race of faith we lay aside every encumbrance – sin, other agendas, personal issues, past mistakes – and refuse to pick them up again. That means letting go of guilt, shame, and dreams that conflict with The Kingdom of God. No one overcomes the power of the old nature by obsessing about the old nature. We cannot overcome anything unless we resolutely turn our attention toward The One who leads the way. Only then are we able to follow in His steps and take on His character.
This I have learned to be true, the core and manner of our calling as followers of Jesus is extraordinarily simple. We just need to look to Him. We keep our eyes on Him. The more we become captivated by Him, the more that captivation will powerfully shape us. He is the race marked out for us. Agree? If so, Run With An Eye For Nothing Less.
Have a healthy weekend. Make it better by worshiping The LORD with those who are running the race of faith and are winning. Not because they are ahead of everyone, but because their focus is solely fixed on The One who is, and they are absolutely convinced that He alone provides the victory that will last for all eternity.
All For Jesus – Nothing More, Nothing Less, Nothing Else.
“He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see, to Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:15b-16)