The Secret to Finishing Well – Assorted Ideas

Ironman 70.3, known as Half Ironman, covers a total distance of 113.0 km (70.3 miles), consisting of a 1.9 km swim, a 90 km bike ride, and a 21.1 km run. I know some people who was able to complete the recent Ironman Marathon held in Cebu and I am amazed with the amount of training they have invested to be able to compete in this prestigious event. I can’t even complete a 5km run without taking a breather.

Every Christian is going through a long marathon and that marathon is on-going until your last breath on earth. How to run the race is in the bible. The secret to finishing well can seen in Hebrews 12:1-3. This verse describes such a race in a believer’s life.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 3:1-3, NASB)

It starts with verse 1 talking about a cloud of witnesses and that “witnesses” are the heroes of the past described in Hebrews 11. They are the examples bearing truth that this race can be finished despite all the hardships. But we need to remove all excess baggage that drags us or slows us down. These can be distractions that takes our attention off Jesus or it can be sin as well.

For us to be able to finish our race – we need to focus and fix our eyes on Jesus. His example should inspire us and give us the power to endure such race. Knowing that he himself experience such trials even to the point of shedding blood.

There is really no easy way as we go through our Christian lives. We will experience persecution, financial problems, frictions in relationships and other trials that will really test our faith. But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, He is telling us:

“Move forward. I am here with you helping you through. I have experienced that. Let me help carry you. I love you.”

 

Check these verses: Matthew 11:28, Hebrews 2:18, 1 Peter 5:7 and Romans 8:37-39. Let me know what these verse are telling you in the comment section below.

Why God Told Moses “Why are you crying out to me?”

Move. I heard. I sought. I searched. I questioned why. One verse stroked such a tone in my heart that it needs to be written down

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?” Tell the Israelite to move on. (Exodus 14:15, NIV)

 

First let’s look at what was actually happening in this situation. Where was Moses and why did the Lord told Moses this. After pharaoh gave the Israelites the “go” signal to go back to their promised land, God directed the journey of his people to go through the desert and camp by the red sea. Suddenly pharaoh changed his mind and went after them taking 600 of his best chariots. Now you could imagine the Israelites when it stuck them that the freedom that they taught they already have was being retracted when suddenly they saw hundreds of Egyptian chariots raging after them. But it was not the freedom that they were concern about; it was death approaching them slowly. They cried to Moses, complained and questioned why did they even listen to this man. Moses answered and directed the confidence in their Lord – that He will fight for them (Exodus 14:13-14).

And then, God responded “Why are you crying out to me, Moses?” It was not directly stated that after Moses answered the Israelites he prayed and ask God what to do. But with this verse we can assume that he did and maybe in his heart he was already praying and asking God for help. But why was this the response God gave? Was it not proper in that situation for you to feel that way and cry out for help? Isn’t crying out to God to a normal and right response when we are in trouble? I can’t even imagine the burden that Moses had.

If I was in his situation, I could have asked the following questions:

  • What if we ran? Can we escape them?
  • Is there a place we can hide? Will they still be able to find us?
  • If we swim through the red sea is that possible?
  • What if we fight back? Can we win it?
  • All options seem impossible, what now?
  • Lord, I don’t know what to do. Can you help me, please?

Indeed, when all hope is lost we know that we can always run to God. He is and will always be the help in our time of need. So why that reaction from God again? This made me realize that God was looking for action. I don’t think God expected Moses to know what to do. Would you be able to think that the only possible solution in this situation was to raise your hand so the red sea can divide and so you can cross it? Definitely not! But God, wanted Moses to move. Why? He already showed he was with him from the very start (the burning bush experience). Is not the 10 plagues enough to confirm that God was with him and to experience first hand how powerful God is and what He can do? Haven’t he learned that his relationship with the Lord has been a partnership?

There are two people that I can think of. One, is a person who has develop this relationship with God that he cries out to God for help in a lot of circumstances that is out of his control. And then, I think about another person who does the same, but in his maturity with his relationship with the Lord he understands that he can move even without knowing what to do – through faith. The second person realizes that we can cry out and lay down our concerns but it doesn’t stop there. It doesn’t stop with the action of asking for help alone, but it continues to an action of not necessarily knowing what to do but because of our faith and maturity of knowing who God is we try to move with him on this. This a person who is abiding with God. This is a person with a deep relationship with his Lord and that is what God expected Moses to be.

So who is this second person, that we should learn from him and follow his ways. This is a person who, for example, cries out to God for help to land a job. As he cries out to God for help, he doesn’t stop there and wait for a job offer to be handed to him automatically. But he actively continues to look for opportunities, and even applies to companies which looks impossible to accept him but because he puts his faith in his Lord he knows anything can happen.

I think this is what he wants me to learn and be. He wants me to stop just crying out but move. Take action. Don’t believe the “I can’ts” but believe that “He can”. And this level of maturity is really an outcome of an abiding relationship with our Lord. We really will not be able to move appropriately when we haven’t experienced or know who our God is. It needs a deep relationship to act this way and I hope we move towards that direction.

How about you? What do you think God wants you to do with your problems right now?

*Note from the Author: this is a re-post from my tumblr blog.

God Can Do Immeasurably More Than We Could Imagine

I like to think, and that mostly involves imagining or dreaming about things. I can put my think cap on and just ignore everything else around me. Which gave people the notion that I am a snob or an arrogant person because I just don’t notice them – I hope they do get over that assumption because I’m not. I plan and think things ahead but there is a verse that makes me realize that I will not be able to think about everything!

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

This is the ending statement Paul had for one of his letters. And I just want to take note of how he ended it by describing God as someone who can do things far more than what we can imagine or think about. This makes me excited for a lot of things! I have so many plans and things that I want to do. But with this verse it gives me hope that with all the possible good things we have planned, God has more things planned for me. The things he has planned for you and me are exciting because I can’t even write what they might be because it’s unimaginable right now – more than we could imagine. And I know His plans deeply rooted on the foundation that he loves me far more than I can comprehend as well (Ephesians 3:19).

As I start this blog (previously I used a tumblr blog), push-on with my ministry, and start a new journey in my career – I hold on to his word. I really will not be able to imagine where he will take me in the take couple of months or years but I know it will be exciting!

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