Tuesday, December 27, 2005
“I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize. . . .” --Philippians 3:14
I heard about one man who made some New Year’s resolutions. In 2002 he said, “I will not get upset when Sam and Charlie make jokes about my baldness.” In 2003 it was, “I won’t get annoyed when Charlie and Sam kid me about my hairpiece.” Then in 2004, “I will not lose my temper when Charlie and Sam laugh at me for wearing a girdle.” In 2005, “I will not speak anymore to Charlie and Sam.” As the years passed, he changed his resolutions.
We adjust our resolutions as time passes because we are unable to keep them. But we don’t need a New Year’s resolution. We need a spiritual solution, and it is found in the pages of Scripture. In Philippians 3, the apostle Paul helps us understand what our priorities should be. On more than one occasion, he used athletic metaphors to describe the Christian life. In this passage, he compares it to running a race. But we need to understand that it is not a 50-yard dash. It is a long-distance run. That is why we must pace ourselves.
It is not all that significant if you have held first place in a race for nine out of 10 laps. What matters is the tenth lap. Whoever crosses the finish line first is the winner. The problem is that a lot of people have a yo-yo relationship with God: up and down. Either they are experiencing the ultimate spiritual high or they are down in the dumps. We need spiritual consistency. And we need God’s help to stay with it. If we want to win in the race of life, then we need to learn to pace ourselves.
Copyright © 2003 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,
More by Greg Laurie: http://www.harvest.org/devotional/index.php/5.html