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Our Blog

5 Tips for Running the Race

Posted by Jeremy DeYoung on

This past Sunday, Pastor Peppy spoke to us about being champions in the Christian life. He highlighted the apostle Paul’s analogy of how a race is a representation of our growth in maturity. 1 Corinthians 9:24 challenges us to “run [the race] in such a way as to obtain the prize”. However, when we look at our lives, this can be a daunting task. You may be thinking “but I have too many things to fix” or “I don’t even know where to begin”. As it relates to these thoughts, I would like to offer 5 tips for getting started:

1. Pray - Sometimes it's easy for us to think “well, duh, of course, I should pray”, but it isn’t always that easy. Prayer is something we often take for granted. Pray for God to speak to you as you continue through this list. Ask Him for wisdom and peace and you begin tackling this difficult area of Christian growth.

2. Make a list - As you pray, ask God to help you identify some things you would like to work on as you endeavor to “run the race”. This can include things such as: having a more consistent prayer life, prioritizing a devotional time, being less judgmental, lessening frustration, watching less TV, being less lazy, fighting negative thoughts, etc. Don’t become overwhelmed, this is a long-term plan that is designed to get you thinking.

3. Choose a starting point - Now that you have your list together, pray and ask God to help you identify a place to start. The Bible tells us He ministers to us where we are, not where we think we should be. We often think He won’t work with us until we have achieved some level of maturity/spirituality/perfection before He will help us, but this simply isn’t true.

4. Focus on one task at a time - If I gave you a list of 20 tasks, how many could you complete 100% simultaneously? None! What about 10? 5? Even 3? Still the answer is none. Focusing on one task at a time allows us to see the Spirit of God as He is working to change us into the image of Christ. Focus also helps us build up momentum and confidence in Him. As tasks get easier and more natural to maintain, then allow God to show you what’s next.

5. Trust God’s timing and his pace - Change begins with humble submission to the will of God. We must recognize that we are powerless without Him. As you begin being more purposeful about change and personal growth, trust his direction. He is there helping you and He knows what you need better than you do.

In my own life, I have been guilty of putting too much pressure on myself to fix everything all at once. I always failed, ALWAYS. The feelings of defeat were overwhelming at times and only fed my bad behavior through discouragement. Through my pleading with God, He led me to slow down and tackle smaller achievable goals. Through this method, I was able to gain the much-needed confidence to move forward and overcome the message of defeat that rattled around in my head. He is always there for us and wants to help us grow. He also knows that we can’t do it all at once and doesn’t expect us to.

 

Jeremy DeYoung
Connect Ministries Director