Run your own race!

A few months back I signed up to run my first (and possibly last) half marathon! And I’ve been becoming increasingly frustrated that I’m not getting faster quicker or that I’m not increasing my distance fast enough.

Today I went for a run, without a particular distance in mind and decided to take the dog with me, thinking that when she stops (as she does frequently) that I could also stop for some water.

After about 1.5 miles I felt like God gently said “you’ve stopped running your race and your trying to run the race of other people”.

And I realised that without even really noticing, I’d taken my focus from God and placed it on comparing myself with other people, not just in running but in other areas too.

Why am I not running as far or fast as they are

How can I keep up with them

Why am I not as confident or passionate in my speaking as…

Why can’t I be more like…when I speak in Church

I should be able to do…

This morning God very gently encouraged me to just run, to run without constantly checking my pace, to run and stop when the dog stopped and to just keep going. At about 2.5 miles I felt God said to go for 7 miles, further than I’ve run in a long time. This goal didn’t freak me out but I trusted that God would get me through the distance and for the first time in a long time when I finished I felt like I could have gone further.

But how easy is it for all of us to take our eyes off the ‘race’ we’ve each been called to and compare ourselves to other people running their own race, whatever that may be. There are things I’m called to and ways I’m called to do them and there are things I’m not called to.

One of the things I feel called to is to speak out on mental health and I’m being obedient to that, trusting that my step of obedience is all that is required and God is in control of the rest. But I take my eyes off Jesus and desire to be more like other people when all God asks of me is to step out in vulnerability, he just asks me to show up while I’m all concerned about the presentation of the message.

When I got home this morning, after focusing on God and my own race, I felt encouraged, motivated and energised to push on, running my own race, keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus. And that is what I take in the other races that God has called me to, in speaking up front, in hearing God and responding to his voice, in supporting my husband in leading our Church.

I run with passion into his abundance so that I may reach the purpose that Jesus Christ has called me to fulfill and wants me to discover.

So my thought for you today is, are you running your own race?

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus

Be on your guard!

Do you ever have those times when you’ve been somewhere and God has done amazing things in your life.

You’ve been in Church or a prayer group, home group or weekend away. You’ve had the space and time to accept God’s invitation to come closer to Him. You’ve experienced freedom in worship and heard God whisper directly to you during a talk/sermon/preach (whatever you want to call it).

I had that this weekend. I went to the Hillsong Colour Conference and it was such a special precious time. I love it.

I heard a talk a few months back which said we need those big extravagant experiences as well as the kindling moments. You know, the daily disciplines of prayer, Bible Reading, worship and listening to God.

This weekend I was able to block out all distractions and fix my eyes on Jesus. I was reminded of the importance of anchoring myself in God and not allowing myself to drift. To keep looking up to check my markers ‘am I still on track or have a gone off course?’. I heard God telling me not to quit before He’s has answered my prayer, to not believe that God has failed me just because I gave up too soon. Catrina Henderson pained the beautiful image of how feeling like we are in the wilderness can actually mean that we are in the ‘word place’ and that being in the wilderness can be the place God speaks to us most profoundly. Cass Langton reminded me that God takes our empty and our ordinary and He does extraordinary things with them.

Erwin McManus made me aware of the fact that we are in a battle for peace, the world longs for something it has never know…peace, and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be the ones to bring that peace.

I often believe that I don’t ‘do’ or ‘bring’ enough to God but my limitation is nothing compared to what God can do in my life if I just offer it up to him. Faith doesn’t make you immune to feeling like a failure and feeling like a failure doesn’t make your faith insincere, it just makes you human! (Erwin McManus)

So I had this wonderful weekend where I felt I realigned myself before God, I got back on track, I gave him my negative thoughts and behaviours because remember, I made that choice to get off my mat!

And then I came home…

And since being home, one of my darling children has been erupting everywhere, boiling over and lashing out at everyone. I managed to get them into their bedroom to take a moment to calm down, on the way they’d told me that I ruin everything, that I’m horrible and they hate themselves. As my heart begins to break for them and me, I took a moment in my bedroom.

God…I just got home, so thankfully I can see with a bit more clarity what the devil is trying to do. He’s trying to break the connection you and I got back on track the past few days, there’s no way that’s happening so I need your protection, your peace and your grace over all that’s going on, I need you to cover us

And God did that for me, I didn’t shoot and lose my cool, I didn’t punish, I stepped back and allowed space. One of the verses given this weekend was Hebrews 2:1 “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away“. That just summed this morning up. Lindsay, pay attention to what you’ve heard this weekend, otherwise you’ll drift away.

If you put your anchor down it’s not a sure this it will stay put, you need to take responsibility to check it’s still where you anchored it. I’m not going to drift off just because I couldn’t be bothered to check my anchor. Christine Caine said “whatever holds us in place ultimately takes us to our destiny”,

So, what’s holding you in place?

I am again reminded that thanks to Jesus who I am today is not who I will be tomorrow. And neither are you!

Amen xx

Today I picked up my mat!

Having been at the Hillsong Colour conference for the past couple of days I have had some amazing teaching from Bobbie Houston, Erwin McManus and Christine Caine.

And the thing I have loved is their wisdom and Biblical knowledge is backed up by their living breathing testimony, man they have walked what they preach!

Tonight’s final session came from Christine and she said that many at the conference might feel like they’ve not had their ‘moment’ with God but that there was still time, He wasn’t done yet. And she was right!!

Today she was speaking on the passage in John where Jesus tells the invalid man at Bethesda to pick up his mat and walk. You know the guy, he’s been there for 38 years waiting for his healing but nobody has helped him to the water and now he’s faced with Jesus.

And Jesus asks him “Do you want to be healed?” And the ‘healed’ actually means to be made whole. Do you want to be made whole?

To be made whole is to leave behind negative patterns of behaviour and thoughts…

(Oh boy do I have those!…oh…, is this my moment with God?)

Now this guy had a choice, just as I have a choice, just as you have a choice! Do I/you want to be made whole or do I/you want to stay on my/your mat?

Because whether we’re made whole or not Jesus will still love us, whether we’re whole or not we still get to have eternity with Jesus, accepting or rejecting wholeness doesn’t change how God sees us…

BUT…

We’re missing out on so much if we stay hiding on our mats! We miss out on fulfilling the potential God has for us. We miss partnering with Jesus and walking out the plan He has for our lives. We miss bearing fruit!

So today, in God’s power, I drew a line in the sand, a line that says “the past is the past, that cannot be undone, BUT, the future is mine and God’s to explore, discover and walk out.

I don’t have to be a victim of my story, stuck on a mat consumed with bitterness, pity, anger, frustration and self loathing. In picking up my mat I get to partner in whatever God has planned for me, to participate fully and unburdened!

That’s where the freedom and fruitfulness will be! That’s where my story will continue to be written. “Who I am today is not who I will be tomorrow” – Erwin McManus.