Last week I had a conversation with Sarah. She is in her twenties, long dark hair, beautiful face…a lovely young woman who is full of life. She and her husband both work on physical endurance together, by completing a physically difficult event every year, as a couple. They just ran 20 miles together this past weekend. Wow! I so admire the determination and ability, of what they have done. Sarah said that the way she was able to do it, was by running 3 miles, and then walking one. In the future they would like to do a marathon. You go Sarah! What a woman! I am happy to say that they are also running their race for the Lord.
“…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
When I was in college we read The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer. In the story there is this band of people who go on a pilgrimage to see a religious site. At night they sit around the fire, and take turns telling stories. Some of them are funny, and some entertaining. They give you insight into the thoughts of the characters. As you learn about each person in the group, you begin to see what type of people each one really is. The ones who seem like they would be the most upright, aren’t. The most upright man in the group, is not rich, or pious, or a man of great wealth. But he is a man who works hard, and loves God, and his family. He is the one who shines in Chaucer’s story. I always loved this story. It was enlightening and made a truthful statement, about how people often are in life.
Sometimes it’s surprising to see what people do. I wish that I could look straight into the heart of a person at the moment I meet them. When we walk with God, He will sometimes show us a person’s heart early on, for a specific reason. It’s true that we become a better judge of character over time. In the Old Testament, when God sent Samuel to anoint David as King, He tells him not to pick the older son even though he is handsome, but to keep looking, because God sees into the hearts of men. There is something about that statement, that stops me in my tracks. To a God who sees into the heart, what could ever be hidden? When Samuel finally finds David, God tells him to anoint him! We are told that David was a man after God’s own heart.
What does that mean exactly? David longed for God. He worshipped God, and wrote songs to Him, and danced before Him. He trusted God, having great faith in Him. So much so, that he fought for Israel, killing a giant when everyone else was too frightened. Then later he and his mighty men continued to fight Israel’s battles. When he sinned, he repented, and confessed to God. He developed his identity in God. His life was a masterpiece, it was a beautiful picture, of how to walk the distance by putting your entire heart into it! David spent a lot of time asking God what He wanted, and he listened, and waited on God. David was a good Shepherd, and he loved God’s people. He went after God’s heart and captured it, by doing these things.
Some Things I’ve Learned From David
- Love God with all of you Heart, Soul, Mind and Spirit
- Love God’s People
- Find your Identity in God
- Be a Good Shepherd in the areas you have Authority
- Have Faith and Trust in God
- Worship God Fully
- Do what you are Called to do, at the Right Time
- Obey Gods Laws
- When you Sin, Repent Quickly and get your Heart right with God
- Discipline your Children in a Timely Manner
- Be Prepared to go to Battle for God
God guides us. We can come to know what He wants us to be, based on our relationship with Him. It is good to emulate those leaders who walk with God. It’s good to be encouraged by them, and want to spend time with God, to know the Word and to pray. They can show you things that you want to incorporate into your own life. At the same time we want to remember, that God has put special gifts and qualities in each of us. And He wants us to shine, for who He created us to be. When someone who walks with God comes into our lives, they can make such a positive impact on us. And anyone who obeys God’s Commandments, will cause others to notice, their godly character.
Keep running the race brothers and sisters! It’s not over yet. Stay true to the Faith, Jesus is with you! Sometimes you are gonna’ have to run 3 miles, and walk one. Pace yourselves so that you can get to the finish line. Hold onto the Word of God tight, and judge the things that people say by it. If their words don’t agree, then walk on by. The Bible says to judge if someone walks with God, by how they treat other believers. They are to treat those in the body, with love. Hold up that shield of faith to protect yourself from the arrows of the enemy, because they are going to come. And bear up your brothers and sisters, in love and kindness. Remember that when a righteous man falls, he will get up again. And Jesus will be right there with him. Blessings to you!