To “run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1), we need a faith-strengthening, endurance-building, mountain-moving fitness plan. Are you ready to get fit for your calling? Let’s take a trip to the spiritual gym and put into practice these six steps of our faith-filled training plan.
Maintain Your Focus
Have you ever tried driving forward while looking in the rearview mirror? Of course not! It puts you in danger and keeps you from navigating the road ahead. What you focus on determines the outcome of your journey. Paul tells us the same is true in our spiritual lives. In Philippians 3:13 he says, “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead….” God wants us focused on His plans and purposes for our lives—which is our future and hope.
But the devil is determined to use our yesterday to keep us from spiritual advancement today. He relentlessly reminds us of past mistakes, hurts and disappointments. We must purpose to “throw off everything that hinders…and run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV). How can we avoid looking behind us? Hebrews 12:2 says, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
Follow the Master Instructor
So, where should your focus be? On the Word of God.
Abraham was a master of this important faith skill. When God told Abraham and Sarah they would have a baby in their old age, he didn’t deny the natural impossibility, but the Bible says, “He didn’t consider it.” The word consider means “to look intently at, to focus on.” Abraham knew he and Sarah were too old to conceive, but he chose not to focus on that. He chose to focus on and magnify what God said, contrary to natural evidence. Whatever you talk about and think about most is what you magnify. So you have to make a decision—what are you going to magnify?
When trouble comes in your finances you don’t have to ignore the need or pretend it doesn’t exist, but don’t magnify it. Instead, magnify Jesus and what He says about the situation. You can call it like you see it, or call it like He sees it. One is living by faith and the other by sight.
Are you prepared for every good work yet? No? Well, don’t quit! To be fit for God’s calling on your life, you must have relentless determination. The kind of perseverance that doesn’t quit, doesn’t lay down and never gives up. It pushes past the fear of change, the fear of not pleasing God and the fear of sacrifice. It allows the pain and discomfort of growth to build strong faith and indomitable spiritual muscle.
This is the life that God can use. This is the life you are called to pursue. In doing so, you will find an overcoming victory that will move any mountain, conquer any fear and thrust you into a new level of service in God’s kingdom. Paul had this determination when he said, “That is why we never give up” (2 Corinthians 4:16). He knew faith is a way of life. If you’ve disengaged from the fight of faith, given up or become weary after some difficult battles—be encouraged—and get back in the ring. Plug back into the Word and reengage in the fight of faith. Spiritually train to be fit for your calling, and you will eventually walk in everything God has planned for you. Don’t settle for less!