The gusts came with force along the bay. The waves were choppy and the waters stirred. I felt the push from strong winds and the slight chill in the fall morning air. My run that had started out with uncharacteristic ease on the first half was now labored and difficult as I ran against the blowing wind on my return half.
I began to breath deeper, calling on all the endurance I had left in me to keep moving forward. Every step I took felt insignificant. I didn't feel like I was going anywhere. This last mile would take forever at this rate, I thought. My mind started wandering down the trail of defeat. The word "weakness" started being repeated with more frequency and intensity.
Just give up.
Walk the rest.
Take a break, stop moving.
These winds are too much for you to take.
You aren't strong enough to handle this.
You aren't a runner, you can't run in tough conditions....
The lies were fierce. The devil was at work. He was telling me falsehoods to distract me and make me believe that failure was my destiny; that I was too weak and too frail to continue on. He wanted me to give up. He wanted the victory.
In the midst of this attack came the battle cry of my Savior. It is true that I am not enough. I am weak and frail. On my own stamina I cannot run against the winds. But the beauty is that I am not running on my own strength. I am calling on the almighty strength of Jesus Christ. He came to this earth, died on a cross and rose again so that I could run my race through Him. He came to run for me. He is running ahead of me, providing me cover from the push back of the winds.
Satan has no power in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When we call on the strength of the Lord we paralyze the tricks of the devil. The Holy Spirit, living within us, speaks words of life and power to us, drowning out the lies of the evil one.
1 John 4:1-4 says, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
Winds will come. We will face struggles. But the One who is in us, running our race, is victorious. He is stronger than the winds we face. They are not a distraction to Him and they do not overcome Him. He runs against the winds, He keeps moving forward.
In the face of the winds of life it may feel like our steps are getting us nowhere. That is not so. We may slow down. Our breathing may need to become deeper. Still our run will continue as long as we are running with Christ ahead of us, blocking the winds and breathing into our fatigued bodies.
The devil will tell us we are doomed. He will tell you that your trial is too much for you to take. He will speak to you the words of defeat. But God stands at the ready, armed with the words of life and the promise of victory. He is fighting your battle for you. He is overcoming your biggest obstacles. He is sustaining you as you run your marathon.
To tap into this abundant power all you need to do is call on the Lord. When the winds threaten to sideline you, call on the Lord. When your mountain looks to steep for you to climb, call on the Lord. He is living in and through you and He is greater than your greatest trial and most trying of circumstances. Your marathon run is simply a jog around the block for Him. To unleash the power of His Spirit that can sustain you no matter what inclement weather you face, simply ask to be filled. Invite in the Holy Spirit. God is faithful. When we ask He is ready to come into our weakness and show us His strength.
As you run your race, no matter what the trial may be or how strong the gusts of wind, don't focus on the difficulty that is pushing against you. Look toward the destination. Look to where God is taking you. He will see to it that you make it to the finish line, just keep moving along the path. Call on Him to fill you with the resources needed to continue on. He will run with you against the fiercest of winds. He will bring you through the darkest of days and most difficult trials you face. Just keep running your race.