Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT)
I’ve been working on getting back in shape recently. Growing up I played football and baseball, wrestled, and played lots of other pick up sports. But the combination of having children and aging have put a dent in my finding time to exercise. Now that our children are little bit older, I’m finding some time to get back in shape.
I’ve mostly been doing this through running. And it is kicking my butt. What I am learning is that my weakest link physically is my lungs. I simply don’t have the lung capacity I need to pump enough oxygen to my body as it exerts itself. My legs are not the stumbling block; it’s my ability to breath deeply while running.
What I have found is that I tend to hold my breath while I’m running, which only makes the problem worse.
So I have had to really focus on continually breathing in and out in as deep of breaths as I can. And when I am breathing deeply I am able to push my body much farther and harder. Not only that, but each time I run, my lung capacity grows slightly.
So it is in our spiritual life as well. Life is much more bearable when we are breathing Jesus Christ in and out in each moment. To breathe is to live. To breathe Christ is to have real life. This is how we run the race that is set before us. We depend on Christ in every single moment. We focus on Him and yield to Him in every action.
If we hold our breath and forget to breathe Christ in and out, we quickly run out of steam as we fight to overcome the world in our own power.
However, as we breathe Christ in and out, our spiritual lung capacity grows as we mature in Him. His presence in us expands and we become stronger in Him.
We need the life of Christ pumping through us by His Spirit. We cannot run the spiritual race in our own power. Nor should we even consider it since Christ has already won the victory.
Breathe the life!
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