A few years ago I learned that very insightful point about Christianity. Of course the fact that I’m stubborn and slow to learn things myself it has taken quite a long time for it to sink in and to be honest it’s something that I still struggle with everyday. I was reminded of this point when reading Psalm 119:32, “If you will help me, I will run to follow your commands” (NLT). Notice the verse did not say we are to walk, crawl, get around to or when you have the energy follow God. We are to run. One dictionary gives the following definition of running: fast movement: rapid movement on foot, with long strides and both feet momentarily off the ground. So even though know this verse to be true why I can’t bring myself to the point where both feet are off the ground at the same time still haunts me. I know what I should do but I simply don’t do it…see Romans 7:15 for a better explanation. The only way I can make sense of this struggle is to relate it to my running habits. A personal relationship with Christ and running are both areas that must rely on consistency.
Call me insane but running is actually quite calming and invigorating once you get past the point of thinking you will die! If you have ever started running either for the first time or coming back from a hiatus you can relate that those first few outing really seem impossible as the aches and pains in your legs and the shortness of breath lets you know just how out of shape you are. However, once you get to the point where you’ve reached a few milestones you actually realize that you are running with relative ease. Things get easier as the “dreadmill” is no longer something to dread, the miles on your running program are no longer to be feared.
The same can be true with your walk with Christ; it takes courage and faith to start trusting God. If you are a new Christian or one that is trying to come back from your spiritual hiatus it is hard. You might even feel like you are going to die after five days. Once again realizing just how far sin puts you away from Christ brings about an eye opening moments. Facing the honest truth of However, with consistency it will get easier, you will stop dreading the quiet times and the realization of just how out of shape you are with Christ.
So how does this relate to the title of this post? We have been called to obey God, Deuteronomy 13:4 “It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him”. We are not given to option of choosing when to obey. We are not given the option obeying when it doesn’t hurt. We are called to obey, right now. If you need some additional rational thinking, it doesn’t get any easier if you wait to start running. The same with obedience, the longer it takes for you to start the more it hurts and the harder it is to keep going. Want good news? 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”, obedience to God will be rewarded. God is faithful in all he does.
I’m also reminded of friend who was involved in a very intense and rigorous try-out for the Summerall Guards (http://www.citadel.edu/sccc/summerall-guards.html). While running in this initiation he often found himself praying, “Lord, if you keep picking my feet up off the ground, I will keep bringing them back down”. I need to remember this prayer and that God isn’t going to call me to run a marathon unless, he has trained me for it so go ahead and start running to follow his commands…I have nothing to fear.
One step at a time,