This is my story. God wants me to run. Not the proverbial run, the mental run or the spiritual run. Over the last 8 years in the Dominican Republic, the Lord has been working on my spiritual endurance and teaching me what it means to persevere in the face of hardships, but now. But NOW, God is asking me to fill in some gaps in my understanding on these matters by running. God is asking me to get up, put one foot in front of the other and physically run. The race. What race? I. have. no. idea. The one HE has marked out for me which I assume He will let me in on at some point (physically speaking). The only thing I ever physically run to is the cookie jar or to my bed at night, and therein lies the problem. God knows this. He wants to fix me. I'm broken. This is just one area of my brokenness where I haven't let Jesus have his victorious way with me . . . yet.
Having pondered this verse,
*"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." Hebrews 12:1
the Lord reached in to my life and He gave me a command. Run, Rachel, Run. I was (scratch that) AM petrified. I would love to report that I started immediately, but I did not.
God continues to speak to me about this. Last night, I was getting dressed for a meeting, and in that moment where I had to suck in and jump a little to zip my pants, God spoke. He said, "If you aren't going to obey, don't complain." My heart was silenced. There's more. As I went to bed shuddering at the the phrase the Lord has given to me, I woke up with a new one. "Wun, Rachel, Wun." Not really understanding why what seemed like a speech impediment had altered my call to worship, I went to the Lord in prayer. The Lord said to me, "Rachel, I am asking you to put on your shoes and go run, outside. I am not saying that you can't take breaks, or that you can't walk during your run. I want you to move for ME, and if that means wunning (walking + running), that is great. Wun, Rachel, Wun!"
For many of you, perhaps, physically running is not a swear word. It would not be a scarey thing for God to ask of you. Maybe you even already do it as part of your daily life. Because you want to. For fun. But this is not a concept I understand. I really DON'T like running. I really DON'T want to run. But what should my feelings have to do with anything? I am serious. My feelings lie and keep me in bondage. My feelings should not be my guide on life, yet many days they have ruled the roost.
God is asking me not to run away from things, but to run to Him and for Him and with Him. He is asking me to worship Him as I run for Him, and to run as if to get the prize. He is asking me to run with purpose, and to not be ruled by my flesh, but to discipline it to obey His spirit.
"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 diqualified for the prize." 1 Corinthians 9; 24 - 27
So, if you are out there, people, reading this . . . AND I believe you are, I am asking two things of you: 1) Would you encourage me to obey God? Would you check in with me about this? 2) Would you chime in on this: Is there an entanglement in your own life that the Lord is speaking to you about to address? If so, what is He saying to you?
*This was the theme verse for the IF : Austin Gathering last weekend. One of the awesome speakers, Bianca Olthoff's theme was "Run yo race!" God was speaking very directly to me about this, and now has given me a a new season to run.