Running the Race
Not too long ago, I accompanied some friends to cheer them on in the Nashville Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. They had trained for months and were ready for this race. As we got to the race site, there were tons of free gifts awaiting every runner at a huge Runner’s Expo. I tagged along for the experience, collecting many free gifts and partaking in the pre-race carb-o-load meal. Then bright and early the next morning we went to the race where I found a front row spot on the sideline. I cheered like crazy as thousands of people raced in front of me on their way to the finish line. There were points where I started to jog, but not to win the race, I only wanted to get the best spot to view those who were competing. I was filled with genuine excitement as my friends finished their first half marathon, but I had nothing to show for it myself. I had only been a good cheerleader and had not taken the time to train for the race.
Sadly, this can be the tendency for many Christians when it comes to laboring and reaching the nations for the glory of God. Everyone wants all the perks to being a laborer, but very few people will get the training and have the perseverance to do what it takes to be a lifelong laborer.
There is a great need for laborers to go into the harvest (Matthew 9:36-38). There are too many unreached people who will live and die and never hear of Jesus. Paul tells us that only through laborers, who are taking the message of the Gospel to the nations, will the unreached come to know Christ (Romans 10:14-15). The problem is that many of us are just talking the talk of being a laborer, but are unwilling to make the sacrifices it takes to actually be one. When I was at the Runner’s Expo, I blended in with all of the runners. I blended in so well that no one could tell that I was barely able to run a mile. At the end of the race, while photos were being taken and the celebration was happening, I had done nothing to celebrate. I was still excited and a part of the celebration but I was reminded that I played no part in what was being celebrated.
As Christians we have this unbelievable opportunity to join in God's mission and actually run the race rather than be a spectator. God has chosen us not only to participate in the celebration but to be part of the race. So, will you take part by being a laborer or will you sit back and watch as others do it?
Everyone wants all the perks to being a laborer, but very few people will get the training and have the perseverance to do what it takes to be a lifelong laborer.
There is adventure and joy that comes in doing the Father’s work alongside of Him. God does not NEED us to bring the Gospel to the world, but He graciously allows us to be a part. When we use our life to labor, we grow in dependence and intimacy in Christ. When we labor, we are getting to be a part of something that is far bigger than anything we can imagine. When we labor, we get to be a part of the Gospel going forth to the Nations! We already know that one day people from every tribe, tongue, and nation will be worshipping around the throne of God (Revelation 5:7-9). The question is will you be a part of the Gospel message going to these people?