The grace of God takes you from where you are to where God needs you to be.
It takes you to higher ground, to the next level. But it does not happen automatically. It involves your effort. As the apostle Paul declares, “I labored, yet not I, but the grace of God in me.”
By His grace, as you make the effort, you will be transformed by the renewing of your mind, for no matter where you are in life, God wants to take you to a better place. So when you are running a race to receive the crown of righteousness, you have to compete according to the rules. Godly blessings always come in godly ways.
The crown of Righteousness is given for,
– Doing what is right
– Abiding by rules
“Similarly if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Timothy 2:5)
Most of us have had the experience of running in our lives, and the reasons have been many. We have run away sometimes from our circumstances and situations, and at times from some people even! But an athlete who is running a race has to compete according to the rules in order to receive the crown.
In this world, we are also running a race for which the reward is a crown of righteousness, and righteousness is doing what is right in the sight of God, following His rules. We will need to run the race in the track (way) that God has marked for us. In the worldly race, there is one winner. In the Spiritual race, everyone is a winner if one runs the race with endurance.
Principles / Laws set by God:
-Law of Obedience – Doing God’s will
-Law of Diligence – Doing God’s will diligently
-Law of Faith – Doing His will with faith
The law of obedience:
Being obedient unto God is doing His will. It is running the race that is appointed for you by Him, and when you run your race, you win the prize, the crown of righteousness.
..Let us run with endurance the race that is marked out for us. [Heb 12:1]
In life, most people want to accomplish something, but with varied motivations. It could be any one of the following, which advocates the philosophy of the world:
1. I want to do something – a lack of clarity
2. I want to do what I can do – limiting oneself, dutiful
3. I have to do it, because everyone else is doing it – pressurising oneself
4. I have to do something that no one else has done – being unique
5. It is my life. I can do whatever I want with it – wilful arrogance
But laying aside all of the above, scripturally what needs to be done, is the will of God, which will take you to a higher ground, and to something greater that God has prepared for you.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” [Ephesians 2:10]
‘Created in Christ Jesus’
It is to be born again in the Spirit when you become a new creation and old things have passed away. Only through Christ you can fulfil God’s will for your life.
Good works is doing God’s will. God has already prepared a roadmap for us beforehand. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. This truth is wonderfully liberating and can take away all needless pressure, for you know now, that you don’t have to come up with something, or make it up as you go along. He has already done it.
God is the initiator (prepared already) and we just have to join with God and partake in the good work. We can rest and be restored as we perform the good works.
What is the right time?
Esther, by the grace of God, found favor in the eyes of the king and became the queen. When there arose a situation where her people were facing destruction, Esther found courage and strength through prayer and rose up to meet her destiny.
Mordecai tells Esther: “For such a time as this, you were called into the kingdom…” [Esther 4:14]
You can be assured that you were born at the right time and in the right place. And for such a time as this God has placed you here.
The Saviour’s time:
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son.” [Galatians 4:4]
God sent His Son at the right time, when the fullness of time had come, so that we can become the sons of God, and receive the Spirit of Christ in us. And if Christ came at the right time, and did what was right, all you need to do is to follow Him.
In His footsteps:
“I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave me to do.” [John 17:4]
The Lord Jesus fulfilled on earth all that His Father had already prepared. And even to you, this is the race set before you – accomplishing what God has already ordained for you, and revealed in His word.
“In the scroll of the book it is written of me.” [Psalms 40:7]
And then as you begin to walk in the path He has already laid for you, He will keep His eye upon you, to counsel you and watch over you. So when you find yourself at the crossroads of life, in danger of deviating from His path you will hear His voice of guidance – “This is the way; walk in it.” [Isaiah 30:21]
Jesus, while He was on earth, did not travel all over the world. He only went where he was supposed to go. But what He has accomplished has reached the ends of the earth. He trained only twelve disciples who ran away from Him at His arrest. But they returned to Him, and later in the Spirit’s anointing preached the gospel turning the world upside down.
You can confess that “My latter days will be much more glorious than my former days” if you can walk in His ordained path and do His will for your life. The Psalmist David came to be called as a ‘man after God’s own heart,’ for He accomplished God’s desires. He did what was in God’s heart.
What God has already planned and prepared for you is revealed in His word. As you seek it diligently you will find it, and by His grace proceed to fulfil it. The apostle Paul sums it up beautifully for each one of us, as with eagerness and longing we pursue His will for our lives in willing obedience.
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” [Philippians 3:12]
Lay hold of that, for which Christ laid hold of you. Amen.