Running with Jesus

A Bender Byte Moment

By Ron Bender © 2011

I always enjoyed running years ago. I guess the most rewarding time was when I was training for a goal. I needed to run ten miles for a hiking trip I was going on in Colorado. To be fair to all involved we needed to be in shape. There were 16 of us going. Ten guys four gals and our married guides who were also the instructors. Being in shape was important for all of us because we needed to rely on each other.

You’re probably thinking to yourself: “I'm not in shape!”  Or maybe, “I wouldn’t want to run 10 miles!” Well, most of you, if you wanted to run a marathon you could do it – if you trained for it.

To prepare for my three week hiking experience I trained for months.  Every Saturday morning I did a long run.  I started with a four-mile run that included steep hills and long up-grades.  Each week I went a little farther, building up to a 10 mile-long run in the hills.  I also did shorter runs or rode my bike each week.  And I worked out with weights and climbed stairs three times a week.

Preparation enable us to enjoy the race – It becomes a joy knowing we are prepared. But all the preparation that build up strength fails us when we hit “the wall” (a place where we just do not think we can go any farther)  My overall experience is that we need to dig deep at this point, we need to rely on "heart" and not just our strength.  And then what a thrill it is to cross the finish line. We may not be the fastest but sometimes it is about how we finish not how fast!

Following Jesus into High Places

Running with Jesus is is very much the same as running a Marathon. We need to prepare our self.

We read in the Gospels that Jesus went up into the hills to pray.  And David said of the Lord: “You make my feet like the feet of a deer. You enable me to stand on the high places with you!” (Psalm 18:33, paraphrased). So I go out of my house to follow Jesus in the streets, and the hills near my home!  I love to be alone with Jesus in the quiet and beauty of nature, meditating on Scripture and conversing with him about life in his kingdom.

Jesus is my Champion of Psalm 19:5 who is rejoicing to run his course in the kingdom heavens all around us.  So as I run my life race I fix my eyes on Jesus.  I listen to him.  I keep in step with him.  He is the author and perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Get Coached by Jesus

The Apostle Paul taught us that the only way to run a good life race is to go into training with Jesus. “Train yourself to be godly,” he urged Timothy and us too (1 Timothy 4:7).  Spiritually, we need to get in shape!  Paul challenges us:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Going into training with Jesus is the only way you can succeed at being his disciple.  You can’t do algebra until you learn decimals.  You can’t minister healing love to people until you learn to pray as Jesus prayed.  And you can’t do all you do in your daily life as Jesus’ disciple without using disciplines to prepare yourself.

Practicing Spiritual Disciplines

There are many spiritual disciplines that we can use as “means of grace” to help us to run a good life race with Jesus.  The Truth is disciplines are not easy to start but can become our greatest asset when we are up against trials and temptations. Praying The Psalms You can learn how to train with Jesus for spiritual growth.  For instance, you can learn to…

These are just a few ideas for you can open your heart to God’s grace and share it with others!



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Ron

Ronald Bender- President/CEO Bender Consulting.~http://www.benderbytes.net/bender_consult

 

 

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