Theme of the Week: Pressing In
Bible Verse: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.” Hebrews 12:1-4
Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 4:7, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Isaiah 43:1-2
We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” The current world record holder for the 100-meter sprint is Usain Bolt, the “fastest man on earth” with a time of 9.58 seconds. That’s fast! The current world record holder for the marathon (26.2 miles) is Eliud Kipchoge with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds.
These are two very different events that require very different skill sets, body types, training regimens, preparation, and strategy.
I can remember the day I accepted Jesus like it was yesterday. It was May 6, 2001, and I was at one of the lowest points of my life. I grew up in religion and thought I had it all figured out – until the day I got to the end of myself, and God truly spoke to me. I knew it was time to surrender my life once and for all and begin living my life for Jesus and not for me.
I came out of the blocks that day like Usain Bolt. I was on fire for God and would tell anyone I could about what happened. I poured into my Bible, got involved in church, learned how to pray, and pressed into God like Usain Bolt pressing into the finish line at the Olympics.
But over time, I came to realize that my walk with Jesus is a marathon and not a sprint. Life happens, storms come, distractions are inevitable, and sometimes you hit the wall. Often times marathoners experience what is known as “hitting the wall” around the 18-20 mile mark where their legs feel like concrete and feelings of utter fatigue and negativity set in. They doubt that the race actually has a finish line.
That’s what life can feel like for many men. The pressures of family, children, work, finances, and fatigue set in, and we hit the wall. We forget what it was like when we blasted out of the gates as a new Christian, and we stop pressing in.
The good news is that we’re not alone. God will help us if we keep pressing into him and let him press into us. There is a finish line unlike any other, which we’ll reach once we’re standing in God’s presence in heaven. Hebrews 12:1-4 encourages us to throw off the weights and sins that hold us back, “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
So when you grow weary and hit the wall, don’t be discouraged. God knows exactly where you’re at in your journey, and he knows the next steps. He’s waiting for you to press into him so he can run the race with you.
Just remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
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