Keep Running

by Karen Porter

We attend a lot of cross-country running events to support our grandsons and the local high school team. We often shout encouragement, “Go past that guy in front of you” because one of the ways the boys do well in a race is to concentrate on the runner in front of them. When they overtake that runner, then they focus on the next one. Soon they have moved up in the race enough to come in first.

Lately I’ve read several Bible verses that remind me of those cross-country races.

Paul wrote to his protégé Timothy, “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you” (2 Timothy 1:6 NLT). Paul understood the great spiritual future available to the young Timothy. But he also knew that it wouldn’t happen unless the young man pursued every opportunity to grow in the knowledge of God and to develop the gift of God. When I discover and run after God’s plan, I am moving closer to His purpose for my life.

God wants us to go after Him like a runner running from behind. Chasing the target of becoming more like Jesus. How is that goal working out for me? Am I more like Him than I was ten years ago? In some ways, I am more like Him. I have developed some of His traits such as my desire for spiritual growth, and I’m better at reading the Bible and talking to others about my faith. And while I’ve grown in other areas too, I still need more patience and kindness along with other Christ-like traits such as being quick to forgive and thinking less of myself and more of others.

Are you running after the Lord like a runner in a race?  Paul encourages us from the sidelines, “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 NLT). Pressing on means we don’t quit when we feel tired or discouraged. If you are like me, you wake up some mornings with no desire to run. It’s on those days that we should take deliberate steps to pursue him such as read His Word or listen to praise music.

And if I’m honest, I admit that I sometimes pursue God for the wrong reasons. Sometimes chasing Jesus for some elusive reward, as author Lori Roeleveld wrote, “we are not turning to God to be with God. We’re turning to God hoping for a big payout.” Chasing God means we want to be in His presence more than we want anything else.

And as we run, he runs along beside us saying, “You can do it! Keep moving!”

“Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.” Psalm 105:4

karen-porter-About the Author: Karen Porter is an author, speaker, coach and successful businesswoman. She coaches aspiring writers and speakers and is co-owner of Bold Vision Books. In her spare time, she pursues her life-long goal of finding the perfect purse.

 

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Karen’s book,  Get Ready, Practical Ideas to Prepare You for Ministry,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

 

Join the conversation: What opportunities has God given you that you have responded to with a “yes”?

42 thoughts on “Keep Running

  1. Karen, I love the idea of focusing on the runner right in front of you. Sometimes the road ahead can be daunting, but God is so good to help us focus on the next step, and then the next. Beautiful reminder to start the day!

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  2. Philippians 3:14 was a theme verse for a children’s ministry I used to lead. As soon as I started reading about the cross country races, I thought you may be going to mention this verse. Thanks for the reminder and memories from that time in life.

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    1. “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). Great verse Cindy! Keep running! Blessings to you, Karen

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  3. Lori’s quote, “we are not turning to God to be with God. We’re turning to God hoping for a big payout” is so true. Too often, I’m like a little child saying, “Feed me, comfort me.” And then I’m off to play when I feel better. I’m glad I appreciate the encouragement to chase Him to enjoy Him.

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  4. One of my favorite verses . I heard the Lord speak one morning telling me if I wanted the prize to come get it . I will never forget that day . Every day I try to run my race for Christ

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    1. I love this Jahala! How wonderful to know He is there watching us run and is good. “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (James 1:17 NLT).

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  5. Dearest Heavenly Father, I praise You and thank you for using today’s e- devotionals to remind me that “as I run, You run along beside me saying, “You can do it! Keep moving!” It brings tears to my eyes of knowing that You are cheering along beside me, not judging me for my weakness. I am sorry for feeling very discouraged for being sick, having that constant heavier dizziness and pulsating sensation in my head after suffering with the chronic bronchitis cough before Christmas, and already missed 2 days of work at the beginning of the new year. Not a good start in 2018. Which it makes me feel that I have lost my race already before I can start it. I praise You for turning my emotions around and speak to my heart. Thank you, Lord for reminding me that I am not invisible to You, You see and accept who I am, my weakness and my dreams. Thank you for giving me the strength within and redirecting my steps on the race again. Thank you, Lord for speaking to my heart, “Pressing On.” I thank you for Your love on me! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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  6. What a great reminder to keep running! Often when we are chasing Christ and seeking to fan into flame the gifts He has given us, it can feel like we aren’t making much progress, but this devotion has reminded us that our running and seeking is not in vain. God will reward our efforts! Thank you so much, Karen!

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  7. One step at a time! Great reminder – I’m often into what if’s for tomorrow,, next week, and next month! Our grandkids were runners too and you are right we can learn a lot of lessons from them.

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  8. Last summer, I said “yes” to something God whispered into my spirit a long time ago. I am a college professor, and before that I was a high school English teacher. So, I have spent much of life teaching others the craft of writing and “word smithing.” However, I have not done any writing, from my own heart, ever. Well, that changed last summer when I was invited to write for a local faith-infused magazine. I knew that the flicker of desire was there, but I was afraid of the yes at the same time. After bathing the work and my words in prayer, a feature for the magazine was born AND my flame grew. God provided the opportunity; I said yes!

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  9. This entry really hits home for me. I will admit, that I have been guilty of going to God for the wrong reasons. Although my intentions may have been good, they might not have seemed that way in His eyes.

    God Bless You.

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