How do I get on the right track and stay focused on God and His word? I lack perseverance and strength. How do I build those qualities in myself?
As I consider this question, I’m struck by four key words: track, stay, perseverance, and strength. Don’t these words describe the epitome of an athlete, and in particular a runner? Picture an Olympic track star and all that defines their training program:
- they must get out on the track daily
- they must stay the course of their training routine, even off the track
- they must persevere through pain, setback, injury, loss, and distractions
- they must garner strength physically but also emotional and spiritually
As we consider these key steps, should we be the least bit surprised that Paul uses the metaphor of running in the Scriptures to describe our faith journey?
Hebrews 12:1 NIV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us . . .
By looking at Paul’s instruction and encouragement, we can gather that growing a deep, committed relationship with God isn’t going to be effortless. On the contrary, we will likely experience:
- feeling tired
- overwhelmed by all the “muscle” required to press on
- battle of distractions, like addictions, temptations, and hang-ups
- may experience the fatigue that comes from what others say to us or are doing all around us
We are hindered at every turn, and yet there is a solution. It starts with a commitment to persevere . . . or better put . . . to press on . . . but not alone. That great cloud of witnesses is our cheering section, along with those who are running the race with us. But what does that mean practically speaking? Well, let me ask you this important question:
Who can you ask to hold you accountable as you pursue deep, personal relationship with Christ and grow in His Word?
There’s a reason God designed us to be a part of the body of Christ. We need each other desperately. We need encouragement, love, and honest accountability — meaning someone who will call us out when we don’t want to do what’s best for ourselves (and those we’re impacting by our neglectful habits).
For example, I prefer to stay hunkered down in my yoga pants and sweatshirt each morning, while sipping my cup of coffee, meeting with Jesus, and then diving into the work I’m most passionate about in the moment. While it’s awesome that I’m passionate about connecting with God, I have the tendency to neglect an equally important part of life — my health! Isn’t it ironic that I’m dressed for working out, but it’s the last thing I want to do. I hate the effort I must put forth. I hate the uncomfortableness of it all. I hate sweating. I hate the pain it causes my body in the moment, even if it like the results later on. The only thing that motivates me to get off my behind and starting burning calories is the fear of “What if . . .” What if I gain so much weight that I could never lose it? What if I have a heart attack because I didn’t keep fit? What if my joints get so stiff that I need medication to make me feel better? You might be thinking, “Okay, whatever . . . this isn’t supposed to be about health and fitness.” Right, but the heart of this issue is the same . . .
You’ve got to find your motivation, and that is often determined by assessing the cost.
So let me ask you this life-changing question:
What is the cost of you not staying focused on God and His Word daily?
In other words, what is it costing you to not connect with God, be in the Scriptures each day, learn from the Holy Spirit’s leading, and applying God’s truth to every day life?
Is that a cost you want to count up in the long run?
If not, what steps are you willing to take to make lasting change starting today?
If you’re ready to embrace a real life change when it comes to your faith, start by taking one step forward.
Maybe that one step looks like reaching out to friend and asking for her to be your accountability partner.
Maybe it look likes using the Starting Point approach described in Meet the New You as you establish a routine for meeting with God each day.
Maybe it’s forming a book club and studying the life-changing, biblically rooted principles described in Meet the New You. You can download the leader’s guide here and grab helpful resources that go along with book here.
If this topic of real life change is important to you,
I encourage you to get a copy of Meet the New You where ever books are sold.
Learn more here.