“There are two types of people in Scripture: those who run from God and those who run to God.”
At the beginning of 2014, one of the resolutions I made was to run a half-marathon race. Throughout January, February and March I wore my old Nike shoes down to the rubber. I thought well of myself—and wasted no time telling people I specifically planned to run the OKC Memorial Race.
At the end of March, however, I caught a stomach virus that pulled me off the treadmill for a week. It surprised me how much endurance you can lose in just a week—both physically and psychologically. As April rounded the corner and the OKC Memorial came within sight, I found my motivation waning. I lost the fire in my step. I had not just stopped making progress towards my goal, but I began to fall away from my goal.
Often, I find this is how many people end their pursuit of a goal. They do not make the conscious effort to undo their work, but they do stop their intentional pursuit of what they are chasing. Unfortunately, the removal of the pursuit unwinds the entire affair: the lack of pursuit and forward motion means the presence of backward steps and lost progress.
This is most clearly illustrated in the faith of young men and women. We hit our successful streaks where we begin to feel very confident (read: cocky) about our high caliber of righteousness, and then we hit a wall. A break up. A family member passes away. A job is lost. All it takes is one strong hit and the house of straws comes tumbling down into a jumbled mess. That is when steps begin to go backwards.
When our walks are based on confidence in our own abilities as opposed to confidence in Christ, faith will not survive the hard times. The forward pursuit of Christ will cease, and in its place reverse motion will drag us swiftly away from Him.
In scripture, there are two types of people in hard times: those who run towards God, and those who run away from God. David ran towards him, Jonah ran away. Job ran towards him, Adam and Eve ran away. In times of hardship, faith based in Christ points us to Him like a well-oiled compass. Faith based in our own abilities, on the other hand, is like a compass that cannot discern north from south; it makes us prone to wander.
A Christian should be asking him or herself two questions:
1. Am I running toward God?
2. Am I putting my faith in God to fuel my steps, or am I putting my faith in my own abilities?
I still want to run a half-marathon race this year. It definitely will not be the Oklahoma Memorial, and I still have a long way to go before I get there. But half the battle is making the choice to lace up the shoes and run.
Whether it’s a run or your walk with Him, half the battle is making the choice to lace up the shoes and run.
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