Hebrews 12: 1, “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.”
I left off yesterday with the scripture God gave me for the five-minute teaching talk I had to prepare and give on Saturday evening at She Speaks.
Ya’ll (and as some others have mentioned on their own blogs, I am from the South, and I really do talk that way), this was such a God thing! The whole talk was so Divinely inspired. I am still in awe. That God could, and more importantly, would do such an amazing thing for little ‘ole, insecure, needs approval, people-pleasing me is beyond humbling.
Once I had the scripture, God and I were off and running (no pun intended..you’ll understand later). I couldn’t believe how He just placed everything in my head. One of the most exciting aspects of the whole experience was that He used the talk that He gave me to share with my group to speak to me!
I confessed in part one of my recap that I really wasn’t sure why I was at the conference. I have found myself struggling to find my direction since I attended She Speaks the first time in 2005. And that, in essence, was the basis for my talk. I feel that God is telling me that someone else needs to hear this besides me, so I’m going to share the highlights here.
God gave me an analogy about individuals who run races. Maybe it was track in high school or college, or maybe they are preparing for the Beijing Olympics later this summer. I, for one, did not run track. Actually, I’m sort of an indoors kinda’ girl. I don’t even like to sweat, so that leaves out most sports in general. Anyway, I digress.
What I do know about those people who don’t seem to mind sweating and who even devote a good portion of their lives to activities that promote sweating (imagine!) is that whether they choose to focus all of their energy on one particular race or on multiple races, what they all have in common is perseverance. What is perseverance?
Merriam-Webster.com defines it this way: persisting in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of (emphasis mine) counterinfluences (such as the world), opposition (possibly even family and friends), and discouragement (the Enemy). Doesn’t Satan just love to discourage us at every opportunity?
I have mentioned in several posts, including this one, that I attended She Speaks in 2005. I would love to tell you that my speaking ministry just took off after that, but that would not be the truth. The truth is, I have spent the last three years trying to determine my race.
I don’t know if I’m supposed to be running the 100 meters, the 200 meters, or maybe even the hurdles. Okay. Not the hurdles. I have very short legs.
Something else I do know about runners, though, is that they all have to build their endurance. Otherwise, they can’t run their race regardless of where their focus lies.
Colossians 1:9-11, “9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance (emphasis mine) and patience…”
God showed me as He gave me this talk (which I think was mostly for me) that I have been in a training phase. I have been building my endurance so that when the gun sounds, and I take off from the starting line, my endurance will be strong as I run towards the task to which my God has called me.
Maybe you are in the same place that I have been, or maybe you already know which race you are to run and have been running it for sometime. Either way, God encourages us in Hebrews 12:1 to run our race with perseverance, and I believe that extends to the training phase as well. After all, if we do not persevere through the training, how can we expect to actually make it to the starting line?
God promises us in Jeremiah 29:11 that “He knows the plans He has…” for each of us. He has a race for me, and He has a race for you. Wherever you are right now, whatever you are doing, know that it is all part of His plan. It is all a part of the race.