There’s something the Lord put in my heart this morning that I felt like He wanted me to share. It may be for only one person, it may just be for me. Either way, I have to be obedient. It’s burning so strong and deep within my heart right now though that if I don’t get this out I could spontaneously combust!!!
So please read this in its entirety. Even if you have to print it out (I know it’s lengthy).
As usual, I’ll give you excessive amounts of details because I think the story and how God moves is cool! ;) As I was on my run this morning, my heart was wide open and I know God put this in there because it was completely out of left field. I mean, my mind was not anywhere on this and as soon as it hit I couldn’t stop being excited about it. Literally, I was on my last 0.1 mile and I started smiling. It might have looked like a grimace since I was running, I’m not sure, but I know that my heart and eyes could not stop smiling. I’m sure had anyone looked over and seen me, they’d of thought me insane or having a ‘runners high’ because who actually smiles when they run?! I couldn’t help it though!
My race is June 2. Will I be ready? I hope so – but that’s not the proper focus now is it?
As I was running my last few laps around the track this morning, I had no music to distract me because my ipod completely cut off about halfway through. My music simply distracts me from the physical run part, but typically keeps me focused on the Prize (Christ) as long as my heart is already on Him. I was basically just trying to make it through at this point and my head was on how much I had left to run. I wasn’t in physical agony, just ready to be done for the day. When out of nowhere, God hits me with this amazing reality and parallel!…
I will be attending a wedding the same day as my race!
I already knew this before I registered. ‘Sure, that’s no big deal except that you’ll be exhausted after 13.1 miles and then be going to a wedding.’ That’s what I thought too. Seriously, what was I thinking?! I was even reminded before registering for this race that it would be the same day as my friend’s wedding. Yet, I was drawn to this particular race on this particular day. I didn’t care if it seemed foolish to do both the same day, but I never really gave much thought of ‘why this one?’ but just went for it because I felt like this was “THE RACE” I should enter (keep in mind, I was also ‘supposed’ to be running in March based on my initial time table and plans). Now… here’s the intense part of what God hit me with and the connection He made for me just this morning (although I had to look up the verses afterward). Bear with me as I get this out, you should see what I mean by the end of this – so please keep reading.
Of course, there are multiple occasions in the bible where our life and walk with Jesus is symbolized as a race (I think it must’ve been one of Paul’s favorite references, especially when writing to believers):
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me —the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” – Acts 20:24
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?” – Galatians 5:6-7
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7
And one of my favorites I’ve read many times before…
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:1-3
Reading them in context is intense as well, but you get the picture here – life is very much like a race. And as I’ve trained and run these verses begin penetrating deeper into my being and I’m able to understand in my spirit (not just my head) how my life with Jesus is VERY much like this. I’ve told Him my desire many times while I’m running that I want to run after Him, no matter what it takes… to keep running for and toward Him with all that is in me. Nothing else in this life matters and I know this, but I want to really KNOW this and chase after His heart like He chases after mine.
The connection of the wedding…
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:6-9
This is in Revelation… the end all celebration when we FINALLY get to see Jesus face to face. After all of our toil, struggles, running and making ourselves ready – we finally get to the WEDDING! Aiming to finish the race and complete the tasks He’s given us to reach the prize of it all: JESUS! I was COMPLETELY blown away by this parallel!
You must also understand this as well… the lovely bride who is getting married is a friend who was right there with me on THE FIRST DAY that Jesus captured my heart (after years of His pursuit) and I finally gave my life to Him! Of the 50+ witnesses on that day, this one dear friend came up and hugged me from behind (I was surrounded by at least 20 people as well) and as I was overwhelmed with the pure raw redemption and joy from being loved so much by Jesus… a love that conquers the world and conquers all sin and death in me… in that moment, my legs buckled beneath me, she was the only one who went down with and just held me as I wept. She was there at the start of my race with Jesus… I also had not made this connection until this morning. The Lord can use so many things to get through to me, it’s incredible how well His timing is and how well He knows us!
“Leave Him to be the source of all your dreams and joys and delights, and go out and obey what He has said. If you are in love, you do not sit down and dream about the one you love all the time, you go and do something for Him; and that is what Jesus Christ expects us to do.” – Oswald Chambers (My Utmost)
I am still so very excited at what the Lord is doing… so I just HAD to share all of that with you.
We are all sinners and fall short, but He still adores us and wants the best for His bride. Fall in love with Him – make sure you are running in such a way as to win the prize. I’m realizing more and more lately the urgency in our pursuit of Christ and how He loves and longs for us. We need to be ready. Aim to finish the race and complete the tasks He’s given you, and consider Him so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. The Wedding of the Lamb will get here one day, we just don’t know when yet – so keep running the race and aim for the finish line!
‘There’s a cry in my heart for Your glory to fall; for Your presence to fill up my senses. There’s a yearning again – a thirst for discipline; a hunger for things that are deeper. Could You take me beyond? Could You carry me through? If I open my heart, could I go there with You? For what do I have, if I don’t have You, Jesus? What in this life, could mean any more? You are my Rock. You are my glory. You are the lifter of my head.’ – Cry in My Heart (lyrics) by Starfield