Never Give Up

tired woman runner taking a rest after running hard on city road

Galatians 6:9 (NIV) Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 

I have been married to my husband almost twenty years. All of those years, he has been an avid fan for our hometown college team. He is passionate about each game. This has been a tough season for the team with a new head coach and different strategy. There have been many losses and disappointments. The team lacks discipline and direction. We have attended many games together standing in triumph and sitting in the agony of defeat but not once leaving before the final play…until this year. Our unranked team was playing a highly ranked opponent but in the fourth quarter they gave up. They quit. My husband stood and asked everyone if they were ready to leave. We looked at each other in shock and proceeded to head out of the stadium. On the long drive home, I asked my husband, “Why? Why did we leave this time?” He said, “If they are going to quit, I am not going to waste my time watching.” Good point.

The race of faith is marked by endurance which can mean long stretches of sowing but not reaping in some cases. As God builds our character and fortifies hope, it may seem like a drought when it is merely inward discipline maturing. It is easy to become weary in doing good when it becomes a monotonous routine rather than an exhilarating race. There are times when our relationship with God is more routine and religious rather than a passionate pursuit of a prize or chasing the crown.

I Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

The race of faith is long and requires endurance. Though the length seems like a marathon, there is a prize. The crown of victory in Jesus is always worth having. It requires discipline to continue to run with passion. It means setting aside desires fulfilled by immediate gratification and fast substitutes to continue to trod along until you reach fulfillment and full satisfaction. We must overcome our fleshly desires and defy human logic to obtain a faith that claims victory in Jesus and lives in constant triumph. Are you weary in well-doing today? It is important to evaluate pace. Are you in step with Jesus? Have you wandered a bit off course? Are you sitting on the sidelines? Our mind, will and emotions are sometimes the greatest enemy of a passionate heart. Constantly offering compromises and settlements rather than running the race of faith. It is important that the temperature of our passion in pursuing Christ is closely monitored or we will become “lukewarm” which is not acceptable to the Lord. (Revelation 3:15-16) Love is passionate. It has a life and drive all its own. To chase after Christ and pursue God with all our heart requires a constant passionate push into the realm of hope and heavenly destiny.

Psalm 119:28-32 (NIV) My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law. I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.

When our soul becomes weary, it hinders prosperity. As our soul prospers so will we. (3 John 1:2) When our running overtakes our passion, and leaves it behind – our relationship with God becomes religious. This is dangerous ground. It is time to turn back to our first love who is waiting for us. The Word of God is our Source. We know that Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in flesh. The Word is essential in strengthening and nourishing our soul to keep the passion alive in our relationship with God. It tells us what is coming, where we are going, what to expect, and the promise attached. It delineates our inheritance in God. Describes the prize and the beauty of the Crown. The Word is a lamp to guide us that keeps us centered and focused on the very essence of who Christ is and what He offers His People.

Isaiah 40:28-29 (NIV) Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.

God never faints or grows weary. Those who live in righteousness through Jesus Christ are connected to the Source of Life. He will give us His Power. He will increase our Strength. We must only continue to pursue Him with passion as those who are in love. To discipline our mind, will and emotions to never stop praising even through the pain and pushing every door seeking entrance. Our life must be on purpose driven by a cause. If we simply think of this race of faith as a marathon, it becomes a mundane practice and traditional ritual that will never yield miraculous or supernatural results. If we want revival our endurance must produces something more than a people who do the same thing over and over again seeking different results. We must level up in our pursuit. Become passionate in our love for Him. Seek Him with all our heart. Love Him with everything we are and are not.

Only you can ask the questions of yourself that I am asking me – Have I quit running for the prize? Am I still after the crown? Am I passionate in my pursuit of Him? Am I still engaged to my First Love? All runners run but only one gets the prize. Lord, let that be my drive today. A forerunner of the Gospel reaching desperately for Your Love. Competitors go into strict training – Lord, I desire discipline that overcomes my flesh. To stop evaluating spiritual progress in natural terms including my five senses. I do not want to run aimlessly. I will not beat the air. I refuse to be disqualified. I will not stop until I have all of You – Jesus!

Jeremiah 31:25 (NIV) For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.”

Matthew 11:28 (NIV) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

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