Running With Purpose
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.” 1 Corinthians 24-26
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. My dad had suffered through this disease for years. As a result, I was determined to do all I could to fight the effects of this disease. I learned quickly how exercise would help and soon I began to take up running. When I was younger, running was not something that I had the least bit of interest in. However, things were different now in that I now had a purpose for running. That purpose was to help me feel better and fight the effects of diabetes.
My commitment to run has stayed very consistent over the years because of the intensity of my purpose. There have been times when I just did not want to do it but God has given me the strength to persevere and stay on purpose. I have even had the great pleasure to run in many 5k type events. You could say that I have run with purpose and not just for something to do.
The same thing should be said of our Christian lives. We should not just go to church, read our Bibles, or pray occasionally because that was the way we were brought up. God never intended for us to live our Christian lives in a mediocre fashion without purpose. Living for Jesus was never meant to be an exercise of just something to do.
Unfortunately, I am afraid that many have approached it as some tradition or something just to check off the list and not do it with a purpose. The results of such efforts are Christians who have a “take it or leave it” approach when it comes to going to church and spending time with God. Our world is full of Christians who sadly live without any power or purpose.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, the Apostle Paul gives us the challenge to do just the opposite. Paul instructs us to run to win! He tells us to run with a purpose. I believe that purpose is to follow hard after God and find His purpose for our lives. I do know that one of His main purposes for our lives is that we would learn to love Him with our entire heart, soul, and mind. In order to do this, we must discipline ourselves to do it with the entirety of our being or, as Paul says, with purpose.
I ran across something George Washington said that best illustrates this. Washington declared: “Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do--then do it with all your strength.”
Are you frustrated today in your Christian experience? Do you ever feel as if there could be more to the Christian life than you are experiencing now? I pray that we would all examine ourselves to see if we are just “shadowboxing” as Paul describes or if we are truly running after God with purpose. My heart’s desire is that I would always run with the purpose of becoming exactly who God has called me to be!