I took up running as an act of obedience and wow! have I learned a lot on this trip. I’m not running to lose weight. I’m not running to be healthy. I’m not running to feel better. I’m not running for people’s praise. BUT all of those things have happened since I strapped these shoes on my feet and took to the road.
And I must confess, I’m finding the rewards mighty fine!
While they are a beautiful result of obedience, it has now become a struggle to keep my heart focused on the REAL reason I’m running. I find myself getting sidetracked by the benefits. Instead of following God I start following the rewards. I want to run more and more so I’ll lose the weight even faster. I like that people are noticing and I spend my time thinking about how nice that is. I log on to Facebook and see all the wonderful accomplishments of my friends and I want to add mine to the list. And on and on it goes . . .
Why does this happen?
We start out with all the right motivations and then something turns in us. In a New York minute we’re in a place we never thought we would be with a heart set on things we had originally set out to avoid.
We worship the rewards and forget the Giver.
This is nothing new. It’s an age old struggle.
They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Romans 1.25 (NLT)
What truth are you trading for a lie?
It’s so easy. It happens in a heartbeat. So how do we keep from believing the lie and worshiping the rewards?
I’ve discovered on this journey that it takes INTENTIONALITY. We won’t fall into this. It won’t just happen naturally, we have to be purposeful! You see we have this bent . . . it draws us away, rather than towards. So unless we continually allow God to right us . . . we will always be moving away.
Here’s what I’m doing to stay focused on the right motivation:
I refuse to put any of my accomplishments in weight loss or running on FB. Because I know as soon as I do I will be focused on how many people LIKE my achievement. I constantly remind myself why I’m running. When someone gives me a compliment about how I’m looking I turn around and give it to God. That’s how I’m choosing to worship the Giver and not the gift. How are you?Have you been way too focused on the blessings and neglected the Giver? What steps do you need to take to realign?
Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the LORD’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their Savior. Psalm 24.3-5