“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
I’ve had the distinct pleasure of running with some super stars! No, they do not hold world records in track and field nor do they wear Olympic medals around their necks. Yet, they will beat you any day of the week. Anne Rudd, Summer Bailey, and Hannalize Slate are some of the fiercest, strongest, and fastest runners I’ve been around.
One time or another, I have either trained or run a long distance race with these ladies in particular. I learned very quickly that I could not keep their fierce pace. No matter what I did, how long I trained, and how hard I tried…my pace was not their pace. I became very content in cheering them on as they sprinted off knowing they would be at the finish line encouraging me in the end.
Life is but a race! The faster we learn this…the better off we will be. My race is not their race, and your race is not mine! One of my devotions recently referenced Galatians 5:25, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Whoa!…I immediately saw racers’ feet. My mind was the only thing sprinting. I had flashbacks of the many races I had run with so many different friends and family members along the way. The goal is to simply finish, but you always want to achieve a personal record. Each runner knows deep down that he or she cannot run another person’s race; he can only encourage. Each race is marked by the individual feet that strike the pavement.
So the question then becomes…how many of you are trying to keep pace with your friend’s spirituality, your neighbor’s spiritual gifts, or your spouse’s journey instead of keeping in step with the Holy Spirit? Just as in a real race, the journey is much more enjoyable and teachable when you focus on your own race, your own pace, and your own journey instead of keeping “out of pace” with others. Then, and only then, are you able to actually cheer, encourage, and see the blessings.
Enemy forces want nothing more than for you to believe that you are missing something! If you cannot “keep in step” with your friend’s spirituality, for example, then you are actually off course. What a lie! Your heavenly Father wants nothing more than to take you on your own personal journey – just for you to bring full honor back to Him. When your focus is on Christ, you are not worried about who is in front or behind you! In fact, you will spend your time cheering and encouraging those around you to finish their race strong too. Hebrews 12:2 tells us to fix our eyes of Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith! There is absolutely no human being who can give you this promise.
So I encourage you today my brothers and sisters. Get out there and run your spiritual race! Cheer on those “Boston qualifiers” of spiritually because we need them! We need those fast-paced racers who can charge through the pavement and get to the next task that God has prepared. These warriors prepare the way as God leads! Go ahead and cheer on the “fast walkers” too. These are the dear saints that give us the biggest cheers and encouragement along the way. We need you when we feel defeated in life and tormented. We need your prayers and attention to detail. Say thank you for the “interval runners” for these believers know when to sprint and when to walk. They know how to hit the enemy square in the jaw in mighty prayer but they also know how to pray quietly in the spirit.
I pray that you find “your race” marked especially for you. May God’s peace fall fresh on you. I pray that our heavenly Father will bring all types of believers with many different gifts and talents alongside you to encourage you. We are truly one body in Christ. Through it all, keep only in pace with the Holy Spirit and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.