When my wife and I are driving to Church on Sunday mornings we pass through an area where there are many people out jogging. Some of these folk are just fun joggers, running to keep themselves fit. Others are more serious runners, probably training for one of the summer marathons.
The Bible often compares our Christian walk to that of an athlete, (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and Hebrews 12:1). This made me wonder how seriously we take our walk with the Lord.
Top class athletes will spend many hours, often early in the morning, pounding the streets mile after mile, to increase their stamina. Then they’ll be down the local gym building up their strength on the various exercise equipment available there. Also, most importantly, they’ll spend hours practising whatever event that they’re a participant in. Along with all this discipline they’ll have to keep to a strict diet, in order that their carbohydrates and protein levels are in balance.
In today’s reading the writer of the book of Hebrews had some very hard things to say to those he was writing to. Instead of progressing in their Christian life, as they should have been teachers by now (Hebrews 5:12), they were still like baby Christians, needing milk instead of solid food. They hadn’t grown at all.
If we want to run the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1) and win the crown that mentioned in I Corinthians 9:25, we need to be as serious and disciplined as an athlete. We need to spend time, regularly, alone with the Lord. We need to be getting into the solid food of His Word, and feeding on it daily. And we should be listening for His voice, always ready to be in communication with Him. As an athlete trains his physical body, so we should train our spirit.
Let’s be like Paul, ‘I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us’ (Philippians 3:14).
Prayer: Dear Father, I thank You that You’re not a hard task master, but I know You long for me to grow into full maturity as a child of Yours, so I can run the race You’ve planned for me. Please help me to set aside time to be alone with You and feed from Your Word. Amen.
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