They’re Cheering You On.

Cheering.png

There was a time in college I woke up late for my team’s 6:00 am mile run. Yep, I slept right through my alarm and rolled over in the comfort of my bed as my teammates ran the mile early in the morning. I awoke to the sound of a knock on my door. It was more like a banging. As soon as my eyes opened, suddenly the realization of where I was and where I was supposed to be hit me like sirens going off in my head. I ran to open the door and see who was banging and it was my head coach.

With my hand still on the door handle and my eyes locking eyes with my coach, I did what anyone else would have done. I slammed the door back shut. Then proceeded to run to my bathroom to try to figure out how to explain what just happened. My coach came in and followed to check on me. In the most understanding way, she simply told me to get dressed for the run and head over to the track.

When I arrived at the track, all of my teammates were still there; finished with their timed run. So I stretched and stepped up to the line…alone. My coach had a timer in her hand and told me to go when I was ready. I took off. I had so much adrenaline built up from being late and having to be timed, I ran the first lap faster than my natural pace. Lap 2 came around and I noticed myself getting tired early. Then the most interesting thing happened…

I heard the sound of my teammates cheering me on to finish. Mind you they already finished their race. Yet, two teammates joined me on the second lap and my energy picked up. My determination increased. My wind came back. Lap 3 came around and other teammates joined me and the cheers got louder. By the time I was on my last lap, my entire team was running with me pushing me to finish strong to the end.

I will never forget the power of teamwork and love in that moment of my life. I was late, I was tired, I was defeated before I even started and finished my race. Yet, I had people who went before me and cheered me on to the finish line.

Life will often happen the same way. We mess up. We get tired and our faith will get weak. Hope seems lost. Yet, scripture says that we have a cheering section ready to inspire and motivate us to the finish line. They did it. Most importantly, Christ did it and so can we.

Sometimes we win because we have strength to finish on our own. Other times we win because of who’s watching us. You’re not alone. You have teammates cheering you on!

Hebrews 11:1 also talks about the weights and sins in our lives that can slow us down and get us off track. What are you willing to give up in order to get where you are trying to go? What are the weights you need to lay aside to be the champion you need to be? It’s a daily struggle to lay aside the sin in our lives and live as the champion in Christ that we are. Paul in Romans 8 speaks about this internal battle we have that we as Christians struggle with. However, in the very next chapter we get clarity that we are winners, even if we don’t feel like it.

 

4x100 team
Olympic Gold: USA Women’s 4×100 team. Photo from SB Nation.

We are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37) and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because He has set us free from the law of sin and death (v.1-2). So when your faith gets tired and your hope seems lost, remember that you are not alone in your struggles. You have a group cheering you on to the finish line because they know you can make it. Christ already won. There’s a champion, fighter, builder, and thinker in you! Get focused again and push yourself to the limit! In Him we are winners and in our weakness, He is made strong.

It’s time to run again. Be Blessed family. Be Revealed.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Miss Your Blessings!

Hey family! In the beginning of the summer we started the “Habits of Grace” Study by David Mathis. After a brief hiatus from the study, we are going to FINISH what we started and complete the 31 day study the remaining days of July. If you have been keeping up with what’s going on in the world, it’s so easy to get caught up in fear, despair, and even get distracted from what God is telling you to do. I want to encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus because only then will we have the right perspective about everything. These study posts are designed to help realign us back in the direction God has us to go.

It is very possible to miss out on your blessings! Let me say that again. You can miss out on the benefits of the Lord. When we are not in the will of God and have not positioned ourselves to receive, we simply won’t. One of the ways many people do not position themselves is not going to a place of corporate worship in the local church. They do not go because they do not know what it has to offer. David Mathis does an incredible job of shedding light on five benefits of corporate worship and why we need them. Some of my most life transforming moments happened in corporate settings (i.e. this picture when I was in college). I hope that you will be encouraged to experience these moments for yourself. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

war1

  • Awakening – Our weeks are rough – and – tough. We often experience spiritual fog and a sense of lethargy when we deal with this fallen world and it can disorient us to what’s really important. I have found even on Sundays when we wake up and don’t “feel” like going, those are the times we need most to remind our souls, “For me it is good to be near God” (Ps. 73:28). It’s something about getting in the midst of other believers that the fire is rekindled and your mind breaks free from the fog.
  • Assurance – We are not meant to stand alone. God made us for community, “the church,” and being part of this local and global community plays an important role in assuring us that we know whom we have believed (2 Tim. 1:12).
  • Advance – Christian growth is not just something we take away from the sermon and work into our lives that week. Tim Keller says that sanctification can happen “on the spot” as we sit under the gospel preaching and engage in corporate worship. Corporate worship is for our general “up-building and encouragement and consolation” (1 Cor. 14:3).
  • Accepting Another’s Leading – In private devotions, we lead ourselves in some sense. In corporate worship, we’re made to receive the leading of others. It’s a wonderful thing in our private devotions to make choices in the driver’s seat, but it is also good for us to practice engaging with God when someone other than ourselves is making the calls. Corporate worship demands that we discipline ourselves to RESPOND.
  • Accentuated Joy – The Swedish proverb says, “a shared joy is a double joy.” It is the awareness that we are not alone in having our souls satisfied in him. Our own awe and adoration is increased when we worship Jesus together.