The Christian life is characterized in Hebrews as a Race we run. It is a race we as Christians have chosen to run, and if we have chosen to run it, Paul says We need to “Run with perseverance, the race marked out for us”
In a nutshell: your eyes need to be fixed on the only one that can give you the strength to make it through that race, Jesus Christ. No matter what the distraction of the day is in your life, whether it be trials or temptations, pain or sin, family troubles or loneliness. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. After reading this from Hebrews, you might ask, how do I apply that to my life today.
It is easy to say but not so easy to do when you’re the one in the midst of the day. Paul talks about a “great cloud of witnesses”. The race we run everyday for the Lord has it’s long miles, the days where you feel like God’s guidance on your life is not as clear as it should be. Maybe you don’t feel as close to God as you have felt on other days.
Take Football for an example. You have a game that lasts for a few hours, but most people only see the highlights, they see the great passes, the outstanding catch or that unbelievable touchdown run. What most people don’t see are all the normal plays of the game. The 1 yard run by the running back that only got 1 yard closer to the first down. The 3 yard reception that in the grand scheme of things does not seem so big. None of these plays seem to be anything which is why they are left out of the highlight reel but without these plays taking place, none of those great passes or catches would even happen. It is those every down plays that allow for those long gains.
Just like in War, not everyday is a fire fight with the enemy. The soldier right out of boot camp is ready to take on the world but he soon finds out that there are many other things to being in the army than a gun battle and defeating the enemy. Most of the days consist of doing seemingly meaningless chores, Digging trenches, patrolling through mud or sand, Building necessary roads or bridges. For the normal person this seems so uneventful but it is those trenches that were dug that might save a soldiers life. Those patrols through the mud or sand is what keeps their physical and mental strength up that will be needed when they come across the enemy. It is those roads and bridges that allow the Generals plans for victory to work the way it is supposed to. It is all those things combined that allows them to be in a position to defeat the enemy.
Our Christian walk is the same. There are days in my life that seem like God is not doing a whole lot. I didn’t get to witness to anybody today, I didn’t have nothing spiritually exciting happen. I didn’t get to talk to my family, I went through trials that don’t seem like they will ever end or it was just an average day in the neighborhood. These types of days are those 1 yard runs that don’t seem to mean much, the digging the trenches that take so long and don’t seem to mean much while your digging them, but they do.
My Dad used to tell me as a kid:
“When your walking a long distance, don’t keep looking at how far you have to go. Just put your head down and take one step at a time. One foot after the other and you keep going that way and before you know it, you will be there. At your destination”
Or as in Facing The Giants, “Give me Five More, Five More!
It will not be long now before we hear that trumpet blast calling us home, in fact it could be tonight but until that time, don’t get frustrated with days that don’t seem to have that “Highlight Reel” feel to it. It is these days that seem ordinary that God is building your perseverance up so that when the time comes, you can defeat the enemy.
That brings us back to how you apply this to your everyday life. For this we must read what Paul says in:
1 Thessalonians 5:16,18 “16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
Read that again, I’ll wait…………Whistling…
Just these few short verses gives us the key to how we are to handle both those “Highlight Reel” days and those “One yard run” days. Be Joyful in every circumstance, not just the ones we like. But you say “How am I to be joyful in something I don’t like”? Read the next few verses. “Pray continually” that means in every situation, pray for the guidance and strength that we need. Just as important is the next verse to “Give thanks in all circumstances” That means ALL circumstances, not just the ones you enjoy but the one your in Right Now! While your digging that trench, go over in your mind all the things God has done for you in your life and give thanks to him for it. Thank him for where your at right now, because it is exactly where he wants you to be.
This is not to say that you will have a smile plastered to your face continually all day long even while you are feeling the effects of trials and tribulations. It does mean that you need to go through what God is asking you to go through and know that he is in control and is asking you to go through this for him because he knows you can handle it. The last part of verse 18 says “For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. These three verses contain a snapshot of his will for every Christian including you and me.
We need to take our minds off the day and concentrate on him. If we do that, it will bring you joy and peace no matter what your circumstances are. We need to remember that everyday is important in God’s big picture of bringing us all closer to him, He is molding and shaping you to be what he wants you to you be, so that you are ready for anything. Each and every one of these days counts more than you know.
So whatever your circumstances are today, whether your “Digging Trenches” or in a “Fire fight with the enemy” God is asking you today to “Give him five more”!
by Rocco T