Refusing to quit the race when running with horses!
Refusing to quit prepares you for the real battle. It means readying to run with horses even if you are wearied by the footmen. However, if we are unable, God may restrict us to the footmen, even if just for a while. But I don’t want to run with the footmen when my destiny is ‘Running with Horses!
Running with the Horses
The reference here is not hard to grasp if you know the Bible. One of God’s key prophets is complaining about his assignment. If you have ever been discouraged don’t get down on yourself. As you can see, some of the best have struggled. God’s response to seems short on ‘touchy-feely’.
“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? – Jeremiah 12:5
Sometimes God’s lack of empathy really comes through. He might not address all of us like this but Jeremiah was called to even greater hardship. What was God really after? It is as though He was asking Jeremiah a question, ‘Don’t you want to run with the horses, Jeremiah?’
The truth is the challenge before you is great. Sometimes we may grow weary and not be able to run with the horses. I have seen it in others and sometimes wondered about myself. What if I can’t make it? It is not a question of being totally disqualified, since God still needs people to run with the footmen. However the very thought of missing out on this makes me shudder. I can’t speak for others but I want to run with the horses.
The Apostle Paul is a great example for this. He began with a foreboding promise, “He is a chosen vessel… and I will show him what things he must suffer” – Acts 9:16. How is that for a prophetic word? You are chosen but you will will suffer. Evidently he had the right stuff and voices his desire to ‘run with the horses’.
“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 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 3:10-12.
Determination Reaches Destiny
Paul’s determination is legendary. Like Jesus who ‘set His face like a flint’ (Isaiah 50:6-7) Paul kept pressing onward. Jesus did this when He ‘resolutely set out for His death in Jerusalem’ (Luke 9:51). How did they survive this relentless journey? By realizing the vast treasure before them. That is, they understood the reward is better than the cost. We need to to stop lamenting the cost and focus on the reward. Hebrews gives us a critical insight encouraging us to replicate the attitude of Jesus.
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” – Hebrews 12:2.
Let me say it again… The Reward is Better!
This was at the heart of Paul’s uncompromising diligence. He said:
“The present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to what is being shaped inside of me” – Romans 8:18.
In other words, I know what I get at the end of the day. It is this prospect of unsurpassable riches which propel us toward the upward call. Though we might falter for a moment, lamenting the weight of warfare, we press onward. For me, while I cannot be guaranteed everything I am shooting for, I know I don’t want to run with the footmen, I want to run with the horses!