“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27
I hate working out. Each episode ends with some body part screaming for attention, serving as a reminder that the next chapter of the book is fast approaching. The hour-slot it takes is rarely uninterrupted, I’m usually gassed in the first 20 minutes and some days nearly paralyzed. But, in order to keep up with the pace of this ‘ministry’, I am committed to pushing through the obstacles for the journey ahead.
Jesus did the same. He created an expanse to keep up the pace. The mission was not only calling out sin, but more importantly, reconciling a broken world to Himself. His days were full of myalgia as He stood, traveled and knelt for long periods of time washing feet. His nights full of apprehension, sweating blood as He looked ahead.
Perseverance is not traversing a yellow brick road. Endurance is not some desperate hanging on. Both require you to dig deep, drive through it and travel from strength to strength. There’s nothing fatigued in Isaiah, nothing lackadaisical in Paul and nothing flat footed in Jesus. The road ahead is long and requires obedience of equal distance, and training your body like an athlete who runs for the prize is essential.
Be encouraged brothers and sisters. You will make mistakes. Your flesh will respond when the Holy Spirit tells you to leave it alone. You ‘will do things you do not understand ‘ and want to do right but ‘carry out wrong.’ A relationship with Jesus is alive along every single step of the way. He will take our greatest transgressions and mercifully turn them into life-giving rivers of love and grace. He is that good and He is that worth it. Rise up, grab your mat and ‘finish the race.’