Greater Purpose

Written by Mark Long (Roanoke, Virginia)

Mark is on staff with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) for 10 years, overseeing FCA Endurance Ministry for local and national Huddles (40) and Teammates (500+). Conducts ministry and competes in triathlons, running races and other endurance events. Passion for discipleship within the endurance community.

December 17, 2023

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Psalm 33:11 

When experienced runners prepare for a season, they often start with defining the “why,” or their purpose for running.
They assess their current fitness, their goals and what their motives are.
They develop a training plan with routines and rhythms that will lead to a successful season, achieving their goals.
They prioritized their life, schedules and activities centered on that purpose. Focus, discipline, and careful execution are required.

A runner has a far greater purpose than their general fitness or best 5K or marathon time.
God has given each of us the gift of fitness, and the passion and ability to run for Him and His glory.

Proverbs 19:21 says,

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:21

When we grasp the greater purpose, our mindset shifts away from self to our Almighty God.
Every training run or race becomes an opportunity to focus our attention on God, then it becomes an act of worship.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31 Paul states,

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Are you lacking joy and fulfilment in your running or has your running stalled or hit a plateau?
Maybe it’s time to reassess.
Consider taking God with you on your next run.
Before you put on your running shoes, kneel before Him and acknowledge His presence, power and provision.
Our purpose is not to simply run, but to run to Jesus and bring Him glory.
When we realise that God created us to glorify Him, and we start to act in ways that fulfil that purpose, then we will begin to experience an intensity of joy and fulfilment in the Lord that we have never known before.

This greater purpose is to follow Jesus Christ and He has assigned to us the responsibility of carrying on His mission.
Just as Jesus gave himself to God to carry out His work, so He desires His disciples to give themselves to God for the task of spreading His message of love and salvation throughout the world.
Our community is the mission field!

Prayer & Reflection

  • Are you experiencing this greater purpose and higher calling? Why or why not?
  • What adjustments do you need to make in your thoughts, actions or priorities?
  • What does it look like for you to compete for Christ?
  • Are you confident that you know and are fulfilling God’s purpose for your life? 

Ponder on these verses 1 Peter 2:9; Ephesians 2:10 and take the prayer below before the Lord:

“Father, I surrender my heart and my will to You.
May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done as You lead me to a life of greater purpose.
Here I am Lord, send me.
Use my influence, my relationships, and my running to impart Your Truth and grace to those You place in my path.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

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