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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Running the Race

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women

by Cyndi Coleman
Every once in a while I get on a health kick. You too? When I do, I usually employ two things - healthy eating habits and running. I don’t really enjoy running as some do; however, it quickly produces more dramatic results.

Running is hard to do. Pushing myself to my goal of distance is tough; but I must press on because if I do not, nothing will be gained. The fatigue, sweat, burning muscles and thirst are not pleasant; however, they are part of the process. Pain can indicate growth, mile markers on the track lead to finishing well. 

“...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.” (Hebrews 12:1b)

If we plan to finish well in life, what should we throw off? Often there are situations, relationships, or habits that trip us up. They are, or have become, unhealthy and ungodly.These are the things we must get away from or stop. If we are not intentional about this, we might as well run with our sneakers tied to each other! Not only will our situations not improve, we will ultimately fall. When we do, there will be more than scraped knees to bandage. We could find ourselves facing foreclosure, divorce, broken hearts, or a loss of integrity.

We can only move forward in life once we, with the help of Christ, have eradicated these hindering circumstances, debilitating practices or crippling relationships from our path. This can be extremely difficult and painful. You will need the strength of Christ to do this and to stay committed to it. Philippians 4:13, tells us this is most definitely doable, “I can do all things through him (Jesus) who gives me strength.”

It would nice if I could assure you that the path would be perfectly peaceful from there on out; but that is simply not true. There is a reason we must throw off what weighs us down before we can run. Running through life is hard, doing it with the extra baggage, nearly impossible. We will wear out far before we reach the finish line.

Notice the the word “perseverance” from our verse from Hebrews (at top). According to Merriam-Webster, perseverance is defined as, “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failures or opposition.” In the book of James, God tells us that whenever we face hard times, we should actually be encouraged “because [we] know that the testing of [our] faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so [we] may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:3-4). Perseverance is one of the hardest lessons to endure. It reminds me of the pain and struggle of running in the heat of the day. My muscles scream, the sweat stings my eyes, and I sound like a wild animal in labor. It is really quite embarrassing, and I truly pity my neighbors.

However, after a few weeks, I am in better shape and the laps through my neighborhood are not so difficult. That’s when I know I have persevered and pushed through the hardest part. And just like the physical race that I run, we all have a spiritual race marked out for us. God, in his sovereignty has a path that is specifically marked out for only you.

Would you say you are on the path marked out for you?

What markers along the way indicate this?

What things should you throw off so that you can run the race marked out for you?

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For more about Relevant Women -

The purpose of Relevant Women:
Relevant Women exists to train women to minister relevantly, to discover and grow in God’s call in their lives and to serve in their churches as godly leaders.

RW accomplishes this by:
•Teaching life changing truth
•Building significant relationships
•Practicing spiritual disciplines
•Defining our personal stories
•Developing our personal ministry

At Relevant Ministry, our vision is to equip leaders to minister relevantly in churches that will be healthy and thriving.

Our mission, to fulfill this vision, is training future leaders - building healthy ministries - and serving on the Gulf Coast. 

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