What Are You Running Toward?
The words in today’s verse were part of the apostle Paul’s farewell speech to the elders of the church in Ephesus. He talked about serving the Lord even in the midst of severe testing by the plots of his Jewish opponents. Yet, he never hesitated to preach out loud and from house to house.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
– Acts 20:24 NIV
In the preceding verse Paul says, “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me” (Acts 20:23 NIV). So what is Paul doing? Finishing the race and completing the task that Jesus had given him, proclaiming the good news of God’s grace. In other words, like first responders and medical personnel, who do not run from the trouble, but run towards it, so too was the apostle Paul running towards the trouble.
Paul is running to save lives — eternally. Those of you today who are running toward trouble are also running to save lives — in the here and now. We thank you for your service, and we pray for you. Because what you do today may allow someone to live a little longer so that they may find Jesus.
What does God desire you to run toward?
Fast forward a few years; Paul’s in a Roman prison, and he’s writing his last letter to Timothy. One of the last things he says is: “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV).
Paul completed his race! The Greek word for complete has some rather profound meanings: to make perfect, to carry through completely, to accomplish, to bring to an end, to finish and fulfill.
So how do you know that you’re going to be able to complete the task? What is your task? What has God called you to do? Callings and tasks are myriad, but you have a promise from the Father. You can do all things through Him who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13 NASB).
Today’s One Thing
Ask God what you should be running toward. Ask Him what your task is; then trust Him to give you the strength to complete it.