FULL SPEED

As a teenager, I spent 4 years playing high school football. During practice, we would routinely have various drills, run-throughs, and scrimmages to prepare for the upcoming games. There were times where the coaches would have us walk through certain plays and situations. At other times, they would have us pick up the pace, going through drills at half-speed. The coaches did this so they could make sure that everyone was in the right place, doing the right assignments. Then, we would be put through full-speed scrimmages, with full contact.

I noticed that, usually, most injuries occurred when we had been involved in full-speed exercises, because one of the players was only going half-speed. This half-speed player would be the one injured.
 
Over my years as pastor, I’ve noticed a similar pattern in the spiritual lives of Christ-followers. 
 
Many folks seem to have a basic belief in Jesus, but resist following Him wholeheartedly — sort of a half-speed Christianity, so-to-speak. These are the people who struggle most with faith. Some tell me how Christ-following isn’t working for them and are often frustrated with incorporating their faith into life. Others harbor resentment toward God for their life situations. And some sadly walk away from any visible evidence of following Christ (at least for a time). In my opinion, half-speed Christianity leads to spiritual injury.
 
The Christian life was not designed to be lived at half-speed. This isn’t to say that any of us follow Christ perfectly in this life. But a wholehearted faith that reflects our desire to be all that God wants us to be, and to do what God wants us to do are daily choices each of us can and should make. This daily choice, regardless of our faults and imperfections, gives us a proper life-perspective (world view) and aligns us with God, putting us in a position where God is able to make the most out of our lives and to grow strong in faith. This is where we should live—as full-speed Christ-followers.
 
As in full-speed football, so also in the Christian life, injuries: Hurts and disappointments still happen occasionally along the way. It’s just part of the “game.” But, our most significant safety factor is found in living our lives wholeheartedly for Christ, day-in and day-out.
 
Begin today, and make it your aim to live as a full-speed Christ-follower.

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