Christian’s are true born athletes, the problem is to many sign up for the race but never reach the starting line. I believe it is mostly because they don’t feel they have the gifting to make a difference or they let their sin get in the way, either way the sleeping giants are counted out for the time being. Some start the race but get discouraged and drop out of the race, never seeming to find the heart to get back in.
Lets start with gifting and faith because the two go hand to hand. In the christian life gifts of the spirit are something that has to be searched out, worked out and even formed. It is no different than any other athlete except you have already been guaranteed a win. This reason alone gives Christians no excuse not to enter or persevere in the race.
Lets look at any other athlete like a runner for example or a boxer, both have to begin by training and getting involved with the sport. If you talk with any athlete, champions especially they will tell you that their accomplishments didn’t come overnight. They were tested at one point of their journey that could have changed everything for them if they hadn’t found the heart to push through.
Faith is what Christians should be living by. The problem is most lack faith in themselves. This is more of a reason to put their faith into action. Putting faith in God where they lack it in themselves. Stepping out in faith with God is the very thing that exercises spiritual muscles, which opens up incredible possibilities. When we reach out to serve and enter the race of faith, God meets us. Many times our gifting are not even revealed until we have been in the race for some time.
Most fighters can tell you they have been knocked out and beaten more times than they can count, yet they continue to get up and fight. In the fighting world they call it heart. True champions find the heart to get up and keep fighting. They can also tell you the challenges they faced and the times when they wanted to throw in the towel. They can also tell you how many times they were told they couldn’t do it. Somehow true champions men and women of heart found the strength to get up and continue to fight.
2 Timothy 2
New International Version (NIV)
The Appeal Renewed
2 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
New International Version (NIV)
12 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, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
You who need to go to the starting line, go in the name of Jesus. You who need to get back in the race, go in the name of Jesus. God has enough grace for you to overcome the things you are struggling with. Life is hard no matter how you run, so run in a way to make it count. My prayers are with you. Bless you in Jesus name amen. 🙂