Charles Stanley

*The Christian life can be likened to a race with a predetermined course and a finish line in eternity. Each believer has a personalized route specially designed by the Lord. Our goal is to stay on track and run with endurance, but the path can be discerned and negotiated only by focusing on Jesus. Because He ran the race perfectly and finished His course, He can show us the way.

As with any long-term race, the course is full of obstacles that threaten to trip or sidetrack us. Temptations lure us to what we imagine are lush green pastures, while busyness can lead us down rabbit trails that end in exhaustion. Worry and fear grab hold of our minds, and emotions take us places the Lord never intended for us to go.

Although sins present the most obvious hindrances, other obstacles and detours are subtler. Anything that takes precedence over our relationship with the Lord can send us down the wrong path. Because involvement in the daily activities of earthly life is necessary, we can easily let our families, jobs, and pleasures distract us from a wholehearted pursuit of Christ. Surprisingly, even God’s blessings can become obstacles in the race if we start to pursue them more than we do the Lord.

We must remember that the goal isn’t to focus on the path or to try and find our way; instead, we’re to fix our eyes on Jesus. He is not only our guide but also our destination. And He will welcome us home with open arms when we finish the race and cross into eternity.

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