Good morning and Happy New Year! Are you ready for another year? Are you set to achieve things? Are you ready and set to go God’s way? These are the questions we can ask ourselves as we start a new year. As my daughters ran track, I have an image in my mind of runners crouched low, looking at the track, focusing on hearing the “gun” go off that starts their race. It dawned on me just now that this is a great way to start each day the Lord gives us, like a race we are very determined to win.
The first thing we can do is to be ready for the race each day. I have found that laying my open Bible on the desk the night before helps a lot. It reflects my openness to read and feed on God’s Word. Placing things at the ready position reinforces that we are looking forward to reading our Bible. That desire to read God’s Word will multiply the more we do this. Placing a journal or notepad by the Bible shows our readiness to learn something we do not want to forget and it is a great place to write out prayers. January 1, 2020, I started writing some of my prayers and it literally changed my spiritual life. Intentional things that we do to be ready for God, He will reward. To be transparent, here is my messy desk, to show You what I see when I wake up. This scene makes my desire to read the Bible irresistible!
The next thing we can do to run a good race is to be set in the correct position. A track athlete who wants to do their very best may often start low to the ground. As Christians running our race for God, the best way to start the race is by becoming low, or humble. We may not always be able to see the finish line but we can lower ourselves to start well in the humble posture that reflects our hearts. We know the race may be hard but we, in a posture of obedience, will run the race as we have been trained to do. The Bible is our guidebook and God is our coach. He gives us His Son and His Holy Spirit to train us. Why? He wants us to succeed!
The only thing left is to GO! With a healthy dose of spiritual food and our hearts in the humble position, we are ready to go and do what God wants us to do. He will never make us go it alone though! He will coach us all along the way. When we trust Him to teach us how to be even better runners, He shows us that part of getting better is by doing. Praying to God each morning like consulting a coach before we run our race. He can remind us of pitfalls and obstacles and other runners or events that may distract us. But the Bible is clear:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12: 1-2 NIV
Jesus gave us the example of endurance when He gave His all on the cross. He did it for “the joy set before Him.” Isn’t that just like us looking at God each day, no matter how dire the circumstances? We know He has a plan for our lives. A plan that demands our whole heart. We probably will not be asked to actually die for God, but a death of selfishness is not out of the question. Who will we live for this year? Who will we aim to please most? How will we get ourselves ready to start each day? Will we get set in the humble position? Will we listen to our coach? Will we run the way God’s Word tells us to? We may not have control over much of what happens to us, but we can be ready and set to run the race as God wants us to:)
Journal- Day One… Answer some of the questions above in your journal or talk to God about them. (I do the journal work too. I may need it the most!)Consider these ideas to get ready to read God’s Word each day:
Make a plan for Bible reading. Maybe write your plan down in the front of your journal. Print out a chronological or other Bible reading plan. Order a devotional magazine for extra reading, This is important…Pick out a place in your home that you can leave your Bible open every night, ready to be read the next day. Get a journal to record what God teaches you each day. Lay that out by your Bible. I sincerely hope some of these ideas help you as much as it did me…and as it keeps helping me! I may not have a lot of willpower, but the power of God can direct even me. We are only what God makes us.
Words cannot describe how thankful we are that You have a plan for our lives. Otherwise, we would be running in circles. We do not have all the details of Your plan for us but that is as it should be. You are wiser as to what we need. For today, coach us to run the very best race we can, for Your glory, not for ours. Thank You for even considering us as worthy athletes on Your team! Make a change in our hearts as we read Your Word. Show us how to love others the way You love us. We love You, coach God! Let’s go! Amen
Love and prayers to all of you. May God grant You a great day in His Word for His glory!
Just me. Just His.