It seems to me that the Christian life is pretty simple really! It’s all summed up in our verse for today (Romans 12:1), and Hebrews 12:1, which says ‘Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us’
They’re easy to find and to remember – Romans 12:1, and Hebrews 12:1. They’re about offering ourselves, and about persevering. That’s our task, as believers, as Christians, and as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
After all, He’s done it all. We know that. He made the full and perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world, dying on the cross of Calvary. Our part is to submit to Him, to His leading, guiding and moulding; allowing Him to transform us day by day as we walk with Him – and not giving up, even when we may feel like doing so. The dictionary defines perseverance as ‘steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, or a state, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement’.
During one of our term breaks at NETS, I walked on Hadrian’s Wall, alone, right across England from one side to another. It was a fabulous week, despite the rain, and I was proud of my achievement, walking about 165 kms in all. I didn’t feel particularly ‘spiritual’ that week, and when someone asked me, “What did the Lord speak to you about, when you were out there walking?” I wasn’t sure what to answer!
But then I realised that the lesson I’d learned was about perseverance – just putting one foot in front of the other. I plodded along, from ten in the morning to six at night, with lots of young hikers striding past me, and getting to their destination way ahead of me! But it didn’t matter. I got there. I did it. I persevered.
And that’s what God calls us to do. To get out of bed every morning, and put one foot in front of the other, even when the way seems so tough. He does the transforming, He does the changing and He brings us to our destination. And He does it with joy, which He pours into our hearts as we open ourselves to Him.
Prayer: Lord, help me this day to persevere; to put one foot in front of the other, to not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but to look to You, and allow You to be Lord, to allow You to do the transforming. Help me to fix my eyes on You, who for the joy that was set before You endured, and who is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Thank You, dear Lord. Amen.
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