photo of the person walking with showing the bottom of the shoes persperctive


I recently flew into Boston, Massachusetts the same weekend as the 125th Boston Marathon was happening. This year 20,000 people in various categories competed in the “Super Bowl” of the running world. On the plane into Boston, I was able to talk with one of the entrants about the different aspects of the race. One of the most important aspects of running and finishing this 26.2 mile race is to plan, prepare, and train to be able to maintain the best possible pace and still finish the race. Every runner has to be aware of their own capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, etc. as they run this grueling marathon and finally cross the finish line.  

Are You Running Successfully? 

Have you thought about how you’re running your Christian life or ministry? In 1 Corinthians 9:24, the Apostle Paul said, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it”, He also said in , “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” in 2 Timothy 4:7. These scriptures show that not only should we run a certain way according to the instructions of God’s Word, but also run in such a way that we finish our race.  

Some people start well but for various reasons fail to finish their Christian journey successfully.

One reason is that some run on their own adrenaline and hustle instead of depending upon God’s ability. They end up running in their own strength, typically at an unrealistic pace they can’t maintain long term. This contributes to making unnecessary mistakes, experiencing health problems, and missing opportunities when they come.  

Five Truths We Can Learn From Jacob 

Esau goes to meet Jacob at Peniel when he is returning to Canaan with his family and his flocks and herds. Here Esau and Jacob are reconciled with each other again. When they decide to move on toward Canaan, here is the conversation that happened between them, “Then Esau said, ‘Let us take our journey; let us go, and I will go before you.’ But Jacob said to him, ‘My lord knows that the children are weak, and the flocks and herds which are nursing are with me. And if the men should drive them hard one day, all the flock will die. Please let my lord go on ahead before his servant. I will lead on slowly at a pace which the livestock that go before me, and the children, are able to endure, until I come to my lord in Seir.’ (Gen. 33:12-14, NKJV) 

There are five life-changing truths based on Jacob’s statement to Esau that will serve us well in maintaining the right pace for ourselves and as leaders of churches and other organizations. 

1. Jacob understood that Esau was capable of traveling at a different pace than he was.

Esau with his army of men was capable of doing things that Jacob, his family, his flocks, and his herds weren’t able to do. We must also remember that each person is uniquely created with different abilities, talents, and giftings. Some are capable of going at a much faster pace than others or doing things that others can’t do.We must learn to be happy with ourselves and the abilities God gave us

2. Jacob didn’t compare himself or his situation with Esau and what he had.

This helped Jacob avoid being frustrated at his slower progress. Others may pass us up in our life journey. But, we must remember that we have a unique calling to do something different than others have. Our situations are not all the same. We must realize that God is working with us just as much as He is with others and learn to be happy with our calling and assignments

3. Jacob refused to compete with Esau to see who could reach Canaan first.

Jacob didn’t try to prove himself as a better man than Esau. Esau was not Jacob’s standard; what God gave Jacob to do required him traveling at his own pace. Too often people take their sense of worth from out-performing others. True worth is only found in who we are in Christ. So we must learn to be happy with who God created us to be. 

4. Jacob focused on a pace that ensured the well-being of himself, his family, and his flocks and herds.

Jacob didn’t try to keep up with Esau at the expense of what was really valuable to him. He didn’t sacrifice his family, his flocks and herds, or even his own well-being. As leaders, we must learn to not only run our race at a manageable pace, but also lead our congregations at a pace that they can maintain. God doesn’t expect us to fulfill His plans at a pace that is harmful to us. We must learn to be happy with our progress in God’s plan

5. Jacob kept sight of his goal to reach Canaan instead of getting involved in short-term feel-good activities.

Jacob schemed years earlier of how he could get ahead of Esau. Even during his time with Laban, Jacob was very shrewd and crafty. But after his experience with the angel at Peniel, he became much more dependent upon God for the outcome of his life and his family. Too often we get their eyes off what God said and chase after things that make us feel good or look good. However, to be truly successful we must learn to be happy with our God-given destiny

    Keep In Step With What God Tells You To Do 

    There is much to be said about pacing ourselves to run our unique race in life. Henry David Thoreau said, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Let’s not be alarmed if our progress is different than others. Rather, we should make sure that in the midst of our busy lives and hard work that we are depending upon God’s power and ability to help us run the race He wants us to run. Today, make a decision to keep in step with what God is saying, and move with Him at the required pace to fulfill His will. I believe you’ll find that it will make a big difference in your life and ministry. Amen!

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