I must admit, although I love running, my extra long distance days used to present a challenge. Those run days seem to take forever to reach the end. Now I suppose the primary reason for this is that I am required to slow my pace in order to accomplish the distance. You might be thinking, “That seems logical, what’s the problem?” The problem is I can run faster and I really want to run faster. So it stands to reason that yesterday about half way through an extra long run I had the desire to speed up. Just as I was about to step it up, I heard my run coach (the Holy Spirit) say, “This is a study in discipline and restraint.” I smiled and maintained my slower pace. As I continued for several miles, I reflected on the words, “discipline and restraint.”
The fact is we all have strengths, those things that we can do well and usually quickly. Although most of the time we operate in our strengths and are often taught to push harder and longer, the truth is it may not always be what is needed at the time. As I continued to run, I thought about the fact that it doesn’t really take much discipline to run faster but it takes great discipline to deliberately slow down. We must remember the lesson of always being yielded to God. When we have strength and power we are apt to take matters in our own hands but God wants us to remain submitted and yielded to him regardless of the power us posses. Beloved of God, recognize that one mark of spiritual maturity is being able to deliberately slow down. We must learn not to sacrifice effectiveness for efficiency. God can and will use you mightily if you will learn the lesson of discipline and restraint. After all, that is how Jesus walked the earth. He possessed all power; yet He yielded it to be guided by the Father. As I completed my run, feeling strong and energized, I had to praise God for the reminder. So, in turn, let me encourage you to develop discipline and restraint alongside speed and power in order to be an effective servant of the Lord.
Let the Word of Lord bring you strength today and always.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall mount up with wings of eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.