For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:6-8

I've been around long enough to know some men and women whose lives were totally sold out to God a few years ago but who have since walked off the track in the middle of the race. They've given up. They've lost their longing for God and all He is. They're AWOL from the Christian life . . .

The fear of following in their footsteps haunts me. It should you, too. The possibility is real for all of us unless we allow our hearts to be completely gripped by God . . . today- now. The faithfulness of my walk with God in the next year and the next decades depends on my willingness to stay current with God. In a word-to stay in relationship with Him.

I never want to lose the grip God's greatness has on my life and the supreme privilege it is to be in relationship with Him and to serve Him faithfully till the day I am welcomed into His presence. That passion compels me. It keeps me very honest and very humble before God.

The last thing I want to do is crawl across the finish line a defeated, derailed Christian or worse-give up the race before my life is over. I want to break that tape with arms high and my face to the sun and say with the apostle Paul, "I have finished the course; I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 3:7).

So what can we do now to ensure that finish line victory? We can get back to basics: Honestly answer these seven questions:

Do I hunger after God?
Does God's Word govern my life?
Do I grieve over sin?
How quickly do I repent when I see my wrong?
Am I sensitive to the Spirit's prompting me?
Do I obey?
Is my faith growing?

Return to these questions regularly and ask God to help you every morning to run the race.