"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?" Galatians 5:7 (NIV)
First of all I just have to say, this is not about running...literally. I am not a runner...most likely never will be. But whether we are talking about physically running, or walking as followers of Christ, growing in discipleship, or following in obedience to God's call, it is vital to have the right folks "running" with us.
Since I mentioned running, let's think about physical activity. Don't you think that you are more likely to stick with a fitness program if you have someone to hold you accountable? Even if you don't actually do the exercise together, just a person that knows your desire for getting in better shape and encourages you along the way.
In our Christian walk and as we grow as disciples of Christ, it is so beneficial to have mentors to guide us and friends to stand strong with us as we aim to follow Romans 12:2 that tells us, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." It can be difficult to be in the world but not of the world. We need fellow warriors to urge us onward to victory, and to rally alongside us in the battles that we face.
As we seek to be obedient to God's call in our lives, it is essential to "hang out" with people that feel that same leading...to be "iron sharpening iron"...growing and learning together.
For instance, if God has called you to adopt, seek out those who have adopted or are currently pursuing adoption. We did that when we adopted our daughter from China. We sought counsel of those who understood "the call" and all the ins and outs of the long process. They encouraged us and supported us as we walked an unfamiliar path. In return, we have had the blessing of being able to counsel others as they walked their adoption journey.
Perhaps God has called you to speak...to share your testimony or a message that God has spoken over you. You need to find others that feel the same urge. Join with them. Learn from them. Next month there is a wonderful conference near Charlotte, NC called She Speaks. Proverbs 31 ministries also offers Next Step Speakers Services to train, challenge, and spur you on. In October the Christian Communicators Conference will be held in SC, providing an intimate learning experience with excellent leadership.
Has God called you to write for Him? Is there a book hiding somewhere within your heart and mind longing to make its way into the hands of readers? Is there knowledge that you should be sharing with others through articles, blogs, or other media? Seek out people with that same desire. Join a writer's group. Watch for God to put people in your path that share your interest. It is amazing how he works all things for good according to His purposes! Attend writer's conferences. There is a plethora of options, depending on your genre. If you write for children or teens, look into Write2Ignite!, an excellent conference that will take place in March. Coming up in July, Write2Ignite! is having a one day workshop called A Day Apart near Charlotte, NC. You can find out about that at the Write2Ignite! link. The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference is held each spring and is amazing. Be bold. Step out in obedience. If you don't already have writers around you, attending these conferences will bring new friends your way.
So...who are you running with? Are you surrounded by those who encourage you in your journey with God? Or as the verse above says, are there people in your life that are "cutting in on you"...keeping you from being obedient?
Are you even running??? Are you pursuing God and His call on your life? He has huge plans for you..."plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) He has gifted you to do something special for Him. Do you hear His call?
Lord, help us to run toward You! Help us to run with our arms open wide and our hands stretched out in willingness to do whatever You call us to do. Guide our every step as we seek to follow in obedience to You. Teach us through Your Word. Equip us, as You promised in Your Word. Keep us from giving in to fear and the lies of the evil one. Help us as we run to and for You!