Trust God With The Pace
Not only do we need to trust God with the plan for our lives, but we also need to trust Him with the pace of our lives. Even if it’s a little bit – or a lot – slower than we think it should be or would like it to be. It can be tempting to catch a glimpse of God’s plan, assume we understand the process, and run with it. But God is the only One who knows the plan, path and pace to take you exactly where you need to go, how you need to get there, and when you need to arrive in order for you to go the distance and bring the most glory to His name.
The goal is always to go the distance. Matthew 6 emphasizes the goal to store up treasures in heaven, stretching “the distance” much farther than what we can merely obtain on earth. Treasures on earth are able to be destroyed or stolen and fall short of the secure and everlasting treasure we can have in heaven. To go the greater distance and store up those treasures in heaven always requires something greater. It’s a sacrifice, it’s strategic, and it takes strict training.
Paul compares our race and how we ought to run to the work of an athlete in 1 Corinthians 9. Think of the athletes who compete on an Olympic level, for example. Their training is precise and intense and “they do it to get a crown that will not last” (v. 25). It looks different for all of us as we each run our own race, but we all must be intentional to move with purpose, develop a strong discipline, and submit to the way of Jesus to go the distance and receive our heavenly treasures – even if it means slowing down.
We love to quote Psalm 23, but rarely do we give enough space to verse 2: “He makes me lay down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.” More often than not, we think we need to speed ahead or “keep up,” and we forget that God is a God of rest. Accomplishing more makes us feel like we’re moving forward and able to achieve more success, but God chooses to have us lay down. He leads us where it’s quiet. How we get where we’re going is not by rushing, but by resting.
Sometimes the strategic training we need in order to run our race with endurance looks exactly like we think it might, with practices and exercises, and sometimes it looks backwards, with laying down and with stillness. Either way, remember to follow Jesus’ lead and trust that He knows exactly how to get you where you’re going when you need to be there.
Are you trying to rush ahead in your race? What might you need to change in order to continue with endurance? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you how you can implement different practices and incorporate more rest into your weekly rhythm.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,Psalm 23:2
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.Matthew 6:19-20
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.1 Corinthians 9:24-27