Friday, February 19, 2016

Running the Race: Off the Beaten Path

Phil. 3:14 (NKJV)
“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

We are excited to be running this race with each of you.  We have officially begun to assemble our Core Ministry Team!  Each member has a vital role on this team because we know that there are no small players in God’s Kingdom.  God has consistently confirmed His promises to us as well as His purpose for us.  We are the laborers being matched with strategic senders.  I praise God for His strategy and we will continue to press towards the goal, the prize He has for us!  Oh what a glorious day that will be!

If God has placed it upon your heart to help support us as we run our race, establishing and building the Kingdom of God around the world, please visit  Time to Revive: Mary Runion.  For more information about what we are doing, feel free to contact me at the information listed on this link.  I would love to talk to you about our vision for missions as well as out ministry and financial goals!

Isaiah 45:2-3 (NKJV)
“I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron.  3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.”

As I have begun my pastoral internship the beginning of January, and am now right in the middle of a very busy schedule, Joe and I have had some challenges keeping up the pace.  I have heard runners describe the process as “finding their stride”.  It is when you settle into a rhythm or a pace for the duration of the run.  Running on a track is great and finding that stride seems to be part of the joy of running.  It is the ability to keep moving forward while internally reflecting on life, thinking about plans and dreams for the future, or even just not having to think at all but having a completely clear mind.  However, what if the ground is bumpy and the trail twisting and winding?  What if the track isn’t a track at all but more of a trail, or even better, not a trail or even a path has been forged but just running towards a destination, a finishing point?  The path or ground is unpredictable and sometimes treacherous.  It causes the runner to slow down and focus more on each step taken, the direction to run (especially if there is not a clear path to follow), and the environment and surroundings.  All of this is essential because without focus the runner could easily fall and break an ankle, hit his head on a rock, or in some places come into contact with potentially dangerous animals such as bears and snakes.  As I was considering the runner and how God was speaking to me through this, He began to show me three major lessons. 

The first lesson was “Never run alone!”  When runners run alone they leave themselves vulnerable.  However, with a partner, not only is there encouragement but also help in times of trouble!  Not only are we to have someone running with us as a partner, God never wanted us to be alone so He sent us His Spirit to be our guide and comforter in times of trouble! 

The second lesson was “The hardest path is sometimes the most rewarding path!”  When we focus on Who God is and what He is doing, we begin to see the beauty of where He is taking us and also discover more about who He is in the process!  When we finally reach our destination, we begin to see that it wasn’t just about reaching the finish line but the journey along the way. 

Finally, He began to show me that it takes boldness, courage, and submission to be able to say ‘yes’ to God when He leads us off the beaten path.  As we do, though, we begin to see His hand in a greater way, His provision in greater capacity, and experience His love and joy in a more profound way.  All of it happens because He wants us to know Him better!  I challenge you to say ‘yes’ to Him and DON’T QUIT!  It may seem slower, harder, and longer, but He is worth it!  He is always worth it!

God bless you as you run your race, seeking and serving Him!