Many believers approach their Christian life like everything is a 100-yard dash to be completed quickly and then on to something else. I have seen it in their approach to Bible studies, Discipleship Training Material, reading the Word, confessing sins with an attempt for quick repentance, and many other disciplines of the faith.
The Christian life however covers three areas. The first of course is basic and it is the starting point. It is important how we start. I know people who prayed prayers but without a heart of faith therefore not having any change of heart or character. We must be sure of our salvation experience. I want to by-pass #2 and go to the third area of importance. We must end right. Too many believers are falling by the way-side and not finishing the race, not keeping the faith, not being steadfast.
The second area of important is one of running the long race. We need to be a people that no matter what we have determined that we are in this thing to the end. I have run a lot in my life. I use to have a running program of 5 miles 3 times a week with an intense exercise program the rest of the week. When I started running I certainly did not start running 5 miles. In fact I would run 1/4 mile and then walk 1/4 mile each day. Then I would add to it. Once I got to 5 miles I not longer wanted to add any more distance but I wanted to add speed each time I ran. In my mid thirties I was quite fast. Then something happened, I quit running. After almost 30 years I recently started walking/running again and I am fining it harder to stay focused as it was in my 30's. It is also much more painful starting again.
What does all this mean spiritually? We need to approach each day in our Christian walk as a long marathon that lasts for years and years and not as a 100-yard dash. Each thing we do should build on another to strengthen us spiritually for the next day.
In this picture I was stationed with the Air Force in Germany in 1974. When I was not working on base I was working in a David Wilkerson Teen Challenge Coffee House witnessing and leading people to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I did not see this as a quick race that would come to a close soon, but a building block to a very long race where I would have the honor and joy of leading thousands to the Lord Jesus Christ in my lifetime. I am at around 8,000 and still looking for thousands more before this race is over.
Galatians 6:9 ESV And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 ESV (13) As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.