We Run to Victory posted by jwatson on Jul 12, 2013Carlos Reyes is Capitol Hill Liaison for the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship in Washington, D.C.
Last Monday I went out for a run. My goal was to run a 5k under 27 minutes. I am fairly athletic but I am by no means a runner (cue a few funny emails from my competitive friends). I don’t even like running that much. The physical act of running is actually one of my least favorite things to do. It is the mental struggle that I love. While at the beginning of my run I know that I am capable of running 3.1 miles, my body and mind battle me every single step. It doesn’t matter if I am 5 minutes in or 35 minutes into a run, my body screams for me to walk. In my mind, a negotiation ensues. It tells me it would be easier to run down the hill or slow down. My mind tells me that it was a long day at work and 2 miles instead of 3.1 is still pretty good. All of this ensues with the knowledge that I have run 3.1 miles hundreds of times in my life. In fact, I did it just 3 days before! Yet, I am still negotiating with myself. In a similar way, our spiritual walk can mirror a physical run.
As a new believer, you are tempted to live as you did before. Every attempt you make to run or be righteous is tempted by the option to walk or sin. You are in a seemingly impossible position. On one hand you are a new believer, you know something is different yet you still struggle with the same sins. On the other hand, you thought that the decision to follow Jesus was going to make the struggle against sin as easy as turning a light off when you leave a room. The truth is it isn’t. You have made yourself a target. Satan is now intentionally pursuing you. Why is he after you? Why does he seem to be tempting you at every corner? Because you made yourself a threat the day you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You have officially entered the spiritual race and are now an active runner, not just an observer. The writer of Hebrew says:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.’ . . .”
Your life will experience the same ups and downs as my run did the other day. You will encounter spiritual highs and spiritual lows. You will experience feast and famine but now you are a participant in the race. And ultimately — we run to victory.