10. The path is not easy. There are hills and potential weather hindrances. We were fortunate that the day of our race it was a cool and dry morning, but Lynchburg is called the Hill City for a reason. Our course had hills to climb, not just small rises in elevation but several long hills. For a new runner, this was rough. My training consisted of a treadmill and a fairly flat road at the beach. Veteran runners on the other hand know their courses and train on various terrains and in all kinds of weather. I have seen runners on TV running in rain, sleet, snow, wind and extreme temperatures so they prepare themselves for these conditions they know they will ultimately encounter. Knowing the course and being prepare to the best of your ability is key in running any race.
As we consider our Christian race do we wait until something extreme hits us and then scurry to figure out what we need to do or do we have a game plan for those “hills” and extreme “weather conditions” that will undoubtedly hit us? Over the years we have taught our children that they must purpose in their heart today on how they will respond when confronted with sin tomorrow. The time to decide what to do in a time of crisis is not in the mist of the crisis. The time to decide how you will respond is before the crisis hits. The Bible tells us that Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s meat (Daniel 1:8). We cannot foresee all the storms of life ahead of us but we know they will come and preparing ahead of time helps us to have the victory over those storms and trials.
Paul says in I Corinthians 9:24-27,
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
So how do we prepare for the storms of life that want to blow us off course or worse, sink us? Live the Word. Let the Word of God become a part of your life. Let it flow from you so that your response to the troubles, trials and testings of this world are biblical responses and are automatic and second nature to you. Many people even “scholars” know the Word but they only know the Bible in a intellectual way they have not allowed it to grow and permeate every part of their life. When Satan came to Christ to tempt him, Christ quoted the Scriptures to Satan (Matthew 4). But is knowing or quoting the Scriptures enough? No. Satan quoted Scriptures to Christ (Matthew 4:5) so we know that anyone can quote the Bible. It is not enough to just quote God’s Word but we must believe and live the Scriptures. James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” This is how we prepare for the unknown storms of life that want to push us off course or wear us down until we feel like we can’t go any further. Let the supernatural responses from God’s Word to the cares and trials of this life follow through us like an unstoppable river that cannot be contained within us.
So how are you preparing for the storms of life? How am I? Are were studying the Christian’s guide book? Are we seeking to gain the strength we need by being a self made man? Are we trying to help ourselves and stand on our own two feet? Or are we deepening our faith with the Word and Love of God and allowing Him to control our life and allow His Spirit to give us the strength and guide us along our way?
“But without faith it is impossible to please him…” – Hebrews 11:6
“ I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Philippians 4:13