CROSS-TRAINERS Andy Hollifield 3-4-19
Hebrews 12:1 “….and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
My good friend Robert Bradley came across a thought while he was preaching Sunday morning that stirred my mind about something. He was preaching from Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” he went on to mention the definition of “mount” which was a blessing. He also mentioned the scripture in Ephesians 6:15 “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” That was the third part of the whole armor of God in verses 6:13-18. Starting in verse 14 it simply says for the Christian soldier to stand up, get dressed, put your uniform on, get your shoes on, grab your shield for defence and get your helmet to guard your mind, and go fight for those that you are supposed to be looking out for through prayer. That is a whole nother message in itself.
Robert began to talk about his shoes and how he was somewhat disappointed in them because they weren’t as good as he expected them to be. That is never the case with any part of our uniform and armor of God. I will be honest with you, if your defence is left up to me without shoes on; you’re in trouble. I don’t do barefoot well at all. But him talking about the Christian journey got me to thinking about something he said. He mentioned that God gave us walking shoes based on Isaiah 40:31; “they shall walk and not faint.” Then he talked about the word “mount” means to climb up, go up, or ascend. Then he came across the part about “run and not be weary.” The Lord gave me a thought about what we need are some good cross-trainers.
In the Christian journey we face all kinds of conditions and terrains. Sometimes we are struggling up a mountain or headed down to a valley. Either way, we need some serious traction because it is rocky, rough, and steep on the mountain. When we get on top of the mountain or when we are in the green pastures beside the still water (Psalms 23) we can use our walking shoes as we follow along behind him as he leads us. Then I thought about how those shoes need to have thick soles for support against stone bruises and also the heat of desert places and the cold places we encounter. The devil ain’t going to wait on us to go change shoes when he comes after us. God knew that sometimes running would be our best defence. Psalms 18:29 says, “For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.” Psalms 119:32 says, “I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” Sometimes we get to run through the troop of our adversary and sometimes it seems like they run over us. But we need running shoes to run the way of his commandments. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.” There are no participation trophies for quitters. We will be rewarded in judgment “that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Knowing all of this and that the souls of men and women hang in the balance, shouldn’t we run the race with patience? No matter what the weather or terrain or resistance from the enemy, we have an obligation to the Lord to run to please him. I failed to mention previously, but James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The problem with running in the heat of battle is that sometimes rather than resist the devil, we will run the wrong way. We run away from the Lord rather than running to him. If we resist the devil, he will be the one running. No matter what the terrain or how difficult the struggle, if we have our “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” we will always be able to run, walk, or climb for the glory of God that others might see our “good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Isn’t it funny that the only shoes needed for all kinds of terrain and conditions are called “CROSS-trainers.” Get up and get your cross-trainers on and stay in the fight. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!