February 5

Don't Drop Out Of the Battle

“In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain.” Psalm 11:1

In the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, there was a memorable event in the women’s 3000 meter race. Two premier long-distance runners were entered: Zola Budd, a South African running for Great Britain, and Mary Decker from the U.S.A. During the race, the two collided. Budd landed awkwardly and was cut deeply by Decker’s spikes but was able to continue. She finished a disappointing seventh. Mary Decker suffered a pulled left hip stabilizer muscle and her injury put her out of the race.

In a spiritual sense, there are many Mary Decker’s today. Wounded, they have quit running the race. Among the many images of life found in the Bible, are the image of the runner and the image of the warrior fighting in battle. As believers in Jesus Christ, we discover quickly that this journey we are on is a spiritual battle. It is very difficult to persevere in a battle. In 1 Kings, chapter 22, the Bible records the time when King Ahab of Israel joined with Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to battle against Syria. In the midst of the chaos, Ahab is struck by an arrow. He groaned to the driver of his chariot, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.” (Verse 34)

There are many like Ahab who have been wounded in the battle for souls and have forsaken their place. The Bible is full of these warnings and admonitions such as in Galatians 5:7 that reads, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” A disturbing part of our culture today is an aversion to any kind of commitment. Our society is short on longevity and long on short-term, quick, instant “what have you done for me lately” attitudes. However, God teaches us differently through His Word to persevere. 

As we continue our 40 days of prayer, let us cry out to Jesus to strengthen us and help us to stay in the fight and “keep running”. Show us Your plans, Your dreams, Your visions, and Your future for us and draw us near to Your heart. 

Prayer for today: Father, please give us the courage to persevere with the vision You have entrusted to us. Help us not to be defeated by difficulties and challenges, but to keep our eyes on the path that You set for us. In You Lord, we take our refuge and strength.

Personal Prayer: “Lord, I want to please You! What do You want me to do to help make the dreams of our church come true?”