My son is a keen swimmer. I take my hat off to him for staying so focused and practicing so hard – six days a week for most of the year. He even keeps going straight through winter, because sporadic practicing doesn’t work with swimming. Swimming is a life style.
It’s not easy, because sometimes he has to miss out on social activities. And when his friends are lazing about, he has to get on his bike and cycle to the pool. Then he focuses on the podium and keeps going.
His dedication is rewarded as he regularly achieves new goals. To achieve success in any kind of endeavour requires the same kind of determination and dedication. Regular practicing, lots of repetition, focus and significant sacrifices all form part of the road to success. The same is true for our spiritual life. An intimate relationship with God doesn’t happen by chance. You don’t get to know someone by communicating for a few minutes per day. No, it takes time. It takes energy. Yes, it draws many, many amps.
Paul also realized that it drew many amps and that he would have to pull out all the stops to pass the spiritual finish line: 12I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ…
Paul was honest and acknowledged that he had not yet arrived. Although he met God on the road to Damascus, he did not yet know everything. He was still a rookie in matters of faith. And now, a few years later, he knew that he still had a lot to learn. He was prepared to give everything, sacrifice it all, and yes, to draw the amps to get to the finish line.
The Greek word (diōkō) that is used here can also be translated as suffer! My son sometimes has to suffer when his friends are out and about and he has to practice. It’s not always easy and sometimes a whole lot of motivation is needed to keep going, focused on his goal.
We should all have a spiritual exercise programme. We must realise that we have to put a lot of energy into the relationship. We must spend time with God every day to eventually reach the spiritual finish line. There will be times that we will have to make sacrifices, even times that we will have to diōkō, suffer, to achieve success.
However, there is always help when it comes to spiritual exercise: 12… But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.
Jesus made it possible for us to have a personal relationship with Him. He reached out to us. He grabbed hold of us and said that He would help us. He reached out to us first and that is why we started the race. We are not alone. Jesus knows what it means to draw amps, because He drew major amps on the cross.
Let’s take Jesus’ hand and make every effort to cross the finish line with Him and other believers at full speed.
How many amps does your relationship with God draw?
Is it enough?
What can you do differently?
Lord, I long to get to know you better. I want to spend more time with You. Thank you for reaching out to me and encouraging me to get to the finish line. Amen