Getting Past the Start Part 5–GO!

So what is the point? I’ve taken five posts now to talk about direction and different tools that we have been given in our Christian walks. I’ve touched on spiritual gifts, God’s will, and service. So now what?

“So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” (Deuteronomy 5:32-33, NIV)

Our life is about so much more than following rules set in place by an archaic, unapproachable God. It’s more than religion. Our life is about walking in relationship with God daily. It’s about growing and learning as we continue on our race. “The end result of our lives is to give God glory. He has a plan already in place, and we just have to be willing to move forward and go after it.” (p. 134)

Are you willing to follow Him? Are you willing to step out in faith to not only be obedient but to fully experience all that God has planned for you?

getting past the start live and experienced word graphic

In the Greek language, the word faith can only be used as a verb. It has to have action behind it. So when we read in Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” it is not passive. The Latin root for sure is to be without care. It is the same root word that the English language derives the word secure from. When we are sure of our hope, we are secure in that belief. To be certain is to be established beyond doubt. (p. 143)

            “God is not simply to be studied but lived. He’s not simply to be known but experienced. If you truly know God, then your life is to glorify Him.” (p. 140) All that we are, all that we do is to serve that ultimate purpose.

You see, we are God’s amazing and glorious design. He can and will help us because He designed us for that purpose. “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” (Ephesians 3:20, MSG) But do we trust that God knows us better than we know ourselves? Do we trust Him to use us in the way that will be best even if we don’t see it or agree with it?

God loves using broken people (we all are, after all). In Jesus’ lineage, we find five different women who didn’t fit the standard for the family tree of the Messiah. Tamar dressed like a prostitute to become pregnant by her Father-in-law. Rahab was a prostitute. Ruth wasn’t from the right family (or even the right people group). Bathsheba became pregnant after a one night stand with the king. And Mary was a teenage, unwed mom. They didn’t fit the expected mold, though despite tradition lineages showing only the male members of the family, Jesus’ includes these five women. It wasn’t because they were somehow good enough or better than all of the rest. They, too, were broken and sometimes made poor choices. But they were included because despite having made poor choices, in the end they chose to do what God asked them to do. “God doesn’t hold us accountable simply for doing good. He holds us accountable instead for doing what He asks us to do.” (p.139)

Jesus’ life and death was to give us purpose. He didn’t just die a death we couldn’t die, but he lived a life that was impossible for  to live so that we would be able to become representatives of God’s love and grace to all the world. (p. 140)

getting past the start accountable for doing what He asks

So our focus needs to be on God’s dream—each and every one of us. Our purpose, no matter how unique, cannot be separated from who we are in Christ because that is our purpose. (p.154)

I want to end this blog series in the same way I ended Getting Past the Start—with a verse. I pray that as you read it, it will resonate in your soul. I pray that as you run your race, you will feel empowered to do more than you ever dreamed or imagined was possible through Christ.

I welcome any questions you may have and encourage you to keep seeking. But more importantly, take that step over the starting line and run your race with the confidence that God has given you a purpose and is running that race right alongside of you.

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Hebrews 12:1-3, MSG)

 

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