Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Eye on the Prize - Wednesday in the Word, March 6, 2013

There are lots of tips and websites out there for runners.  From suggested foods to breathing exercises, all of the sources have tons of different ideas and advice, but one thing that is commonly repeated throughout, is FOCUS. 

Livestrong Runner's Magazine mentions that running is such a challenging sport what separates the good from the great runners is  often mental conditioning. There's not a huge difference between what makes a great runner and what makes an great Christian.

When you're running, your focus is on the run.  Some runners choose to imagine running in their favorite location, and some choose to picture themselves crossing the finish line in first place, but the one thing they have in common is that their focus is singularly on the race.  "You should try to make your images as clear as possible, incorporating all senses, and rehearse your image even when you are not training."

As Christians, we should also have a singular focus.   Our eyes and our minds should be set on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.  In order to live for Him, our focus must be entirely on Him, and the path He has laid out for us. 

Just as a runner sometimes struggles along the course, we often struggle in life.  The obstacles may be different, but the solution is the same.  FOCUS.  Eye on the prize.  So how do we keep our eyes on Christ?

It's not always easy.  The world throws many distractions at us, and anything that takes your focus off Christ for even a second is a hazard.  We have to build up our defenses against whatever Satan throws, and we have to strengthen our relationship with Christ so that we can keep our eyes on Him even through the storm. 

The best ways I know of to do both of these things are to spend time in God's word, and to spend time in prayer.  His word is my "Go To" instruction book for life.  In it's pages He shares how to concentrate on Him, how to follow Hill, examples of others who have had great faith, and everything I need to know in this world and the next.  If I'm spending time in prayer and in a relationship with Him, then I am understanding His word more, and He is strengthening both our bond and my defenses.  My defenses on their own aren't much at all, but Christ makes them impenetrable. 

Christian fellowship is also an important part of building up other Christians, strengthening their resolve and letting them know they aren't alone, while receiving that same reassurance yourself.  It is good to grow and learn with others, as well as in your own Bible study time. 

Above all, use these tools to help you keep your focus on Christ, your "Eye on the Prize".

Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In Him,

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