Categorized | view of self

Staying In the Race – Be Encouraged

Jesse Skinner
image courtesy of Ingrid Grødem

This is guest post from a good friend of mine, Jesse Skinner. Jesse and I share a common desire: to see people get free to be all that God created them to be. Jesse’s love and energy can be overwhelming, but only when you realize how much other people live guarded. Jesse is full of life and hope in every season. I hope you enjoy this post from him.

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Imagine You Are Running a Race

Okay let’s have some fun. I want you to imagine you are running a race. It feels like you’ve been running for hours even though it’s only been minutes since the short race started. Your heart is pounding, your lungs are burning, your legs are beginning to fail and you just want to be done. You are running this race HARD, get the picture?

You round the bend, finishing a lap as you realize you only have one out of the ten laps left. You are so close you can feel the finish line and the coming victory, when from out of nowhere the commentator through the loudspeaker shouts, “You still have SEVEN more laps to go!”

You’re reply, “WHAT?!”

One of the Clearest Lies of the Enemy

What happens next is what happens to many believers of God. One of the clearest lies the enemy of our faith shares with us (usually through a loudspeaker) is that we are not as far along as we thought. Think of how you will run the race after hearing that you actually have a lot further to go than you thought. How demoralizing is that? I know personally it takes the wind out of my sails and sends me straight into discouragement. I mean, who wants to keep running hard when it feels like you haven’t covered any ground? You thought you had all these personal victories and attained greater levels of maturity. And NOW you find out from some loudspeaker that you have barely even begun the race. Arrgh!!!

You may have setbacks in your faith. You may make a couple wrong turns. You may even forget why you’re running sometimes. But rest assured, you are further along than you think. In fact, the very reason you are hearing this lie is because you have been running so well. The victory is only a lap away.

Your Father Always Believes in You

Now imagine you are back in that race and you are sure you only have one lap to go. When from the sidelines of the track you hear your father yell at the top of his lungs, “RUN!! You only have half a lap left!” WOW, can you imagine how you would run. I know for me I would run with increased excitement and purpose. I wouldn’t listen to the discouraging loudspeaker. I would believe what my father says, he’s the one that believes in me and has always spoken truth.

You Are Further Along Than You Think

Let me invite you into the true reality that you are actually further along than you think. The race is in the bag! You’re in Christ and Christ is already at the finish line. You can’t lose. The enemy knows this and so his only move is to try to make you more tired, more disappointed, more offended that you aren’t further along. He will try to get you so discouraged that you stop running altogether. That’s ridiculous!

The Father wants you to know that He is running this with you. That it may feel like you’re not as far as you want to be, but it’s probably because you’ve never run this part of the race before. You’ve never been where you are right now. Of course it seems a little foreign. But you’re closer than you think. So be in-couraged, run with purpose and confidence. The Father is great at setting the perfect pace for you victory.

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