Freedom over fear

During my final indoor track and field collegiate conference championship, I heard the Lord speak something new to my heart: “We must run out of freedom.”

The start of 2016 had been layered with illness, travel, ups and downs. After many weeks of recovering from colds, an ear infection, and fatigue, I was just thankful to get back to running again.

At conference, I was to run the DMR (Distance Medley Relay) and the 3K. I was assigned the mile leg (the final leg) of the DMR after little to no speed work for the last number of weeks. Needless to say, I was a little frightened at the potential outcome. All in all, I was so excited to be able to run the race with a relay team — to be a part of something.

My teammates did an excellent job of competing and positioning our relay for the final leg. We were positioned in a gap between 1st and 3rd with a thin cushion on both sides.

There was little hope of catching the team in first, but there was great likelihood of being swallowed by the pack behind me. I knew if they caught me, it would be tough to hang on and out-kick them in the final laps of the race… so I ran for dear life.

While the last couple of years have been a great gift of running in freedom, I experienced a different kind of fear that day… while running. There was hardly any confidence in my system so I gritted my teeth and ran as hard as I could. As I reflected, I realized the difference it would have been to run in the confidence of my training and recent races. I didn’t have that confidence.

I thought of Proverbs 28:1 that says,

“A wicked person flees when no one is chasing him, but righteous people are as bold as lions.”

Okay, okay, so people were chasing me, BUT I felt like a scrambling schoolgirl. My sore shoulders the next day could attest to the way I ran so cramped and uptight. What it would have been like to run as bold as a lion!

We run out of fear when we are afraid that there is something to lose. We run out of freedom when we have nothing to lose. 

We run out of fear when we have prepared just enough, but maybe not quite enough. We run out of freedom when we have prepared all there is to prepare: mind, body and spirit. 

We must be preparing ourselves every day so there is no fear in our step. When we are loved perfectly and we live in that perfect love, all fear is driven out in the name of Jesus.

We must quit running from what is behind us and strive to what is in front of us. I could have run in an easier state of mind if I would have just focused on the team in first, and at the same time outran the teams behind me.

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
Philippians 3:13-14

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” Proverbs 21:21

I pray a spirit of discipline over you as you prepare for all the races that are still ahead. I pray that we can pursue life with the heart of freedom rather than fear, knowing that Jesus endured the cross, scorning its sin and shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God. Thank God that He is on the throne, and I pray He sits on the throne of our hearts as well.




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