How’s Your Race Going?
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” —James 4:8
The Bible is filled with promises. Few are as sweet as this easy-to-memorize verse—draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
That’s a pretty simple formula: as we open ourselves up to Him, He avails Himself to us.
Athletic metaphors also abound in God’s Word. This life’s journey is frequently associated with such things as running a race (1 Corinthians 9:24), not running in vain (Philippians 2:16), running with endurance (Hebrews 12:1), pressing on toward the goal, to obtain the prize (Philippians 3:14), and finishing the race well (2 Timothy 4:7).
When you’re running a race, it’s important to know where the finish line is. Whether it’s a 26.2-mile marathon, a 13.1-mile half-marathon, a 5K, or a 10K, from the starter’s pistol, with every step you draw closer to the prize.
The Bible’s athletic metaphors reveal our finish line is closeness with God. We are running toward God in this life.
Inevitably in a long race, obstacles and adversities arise. The beauty of our faith-journey is that, as they do, our God will use them to get our attention and to deepen our thirst for Him.
Even our greatest shortcomings and sins can lead us to Christ, as we seek forgiveness. When we approach Him in contrition and repentance, we enter into a more intimate connection with God. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).
How’s your race shaping up? Where are you in relation to the goal? Have you allowed life’s obstacles and adversities to distance you from God rather than move you toward Him?
When things are most difficult and most desperate, His invitation to draw near is most compelling. Accept His invite. Draw near to God.
My prayer for this week:
Gracious Lord, your promise is sweet—that as I desire to be near you, you are nearer to me. I do desire to be near you, close to you, closer to you. You know me inside and out, every thought and inclination of my heart. Meet me today—every day—using my life’s circumstances to draw me, to deepen my thirst for you.