The Christian race starts at the point of conversion, on the day you surrendered your all to JESUS. Christianity is fulfilling the task of walking with the Lord and fulfilling the oath of allegiance pledged. It is a call to walk with HIM only till the end of life. The work of salvation is done when we yield to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, which leads to conversion thereby making us to realize the obvious difference between light and darkness. While Heaven rejoices to have a soul turned from darkness to light, the devil and his agents become enraged. They therefore devise strategies to pull the converted soul back into perdition, sometimes using challenges and the vicissitudes of life.

There are so many physical and spiritual challenges that can serve as distractions in the Christian race if not guarded against. The devil tries to cause many to fall away from the path of life, using these challenges. Protracted illness, frustration, joblessness, poverty, delay in marriage, wrong marital partners, an unbelieving spouse, childlessness, wayward children, corruption at the workplace, besetting sins and much more are examples of weapons that the devil deploys to make the believer to stumble. He is always looking for an unguarded hour, to strike down identified children of God. The day you declare Jesus as Lord and Saviour, the same moment the devil draws a battle line and seeks to pull you out of the way of light.

Note that the devil, our adversary constantly walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour I Peter 5:8. He knows that as long as we are still in this vain world, we are still in the flesh and prone to stray from the right path. The flesh is an enemy of the soul and we are to wage war against it, lest the devil succeeds in using it as a tool to perfect his plans. Romans 6:11-13; 8:3-8 We are to bring our bodies into subjection, so we don’t become castaways. I Corinthians 9:27 The Bible says we should watch and pray so as not to fall into temptation, Mathew 26:41. We should always be alert, putting on the whole armour of God, walking diligently in the knowledge and wisdom of God in order to stand against the wiles of the devil Ephesians 6:11.

Surrendering all worldly pleasure and carrying our cross while following Him are imperative if we must overcome the challenges in the Christian race Luke 9:23; Romans 12:2. The world is full of distractions seen and unseen. Jesus said I am the vine, you are the branches, abide in me always. No excuse to dwell on the past, when you are new in Christ, old things have passed and behold all things are new. Therefore, you cannot pour new wine into old bottles Matthew 9: 14 – 17. You must key into the strength, wisdom and knowledge of Christ to run the race to the end, through thick and thin. Grow in Him daily, avoid objects of temptation and do self – examination daily so you do not go back to your vomit. He is the author and finisher of our faith and we can do all thing through Christ that strengthens us. He said we will surely face challenges, but He Has overcome the world and we will overcome too John 16:33.
Worthy of note is the fact that at any point in our Christian journey when we pass through waters, fire and pains, He is always there to see us through and we will not be consumed. Isaiah 43:2 In the midst of troubles and challenges, know that you are not alone and just as He did for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, He will deliver you. He is still the same God; we should therefore not detach ourselves from Christ, the Vine in times of challenges. By this, we surely will be able to wage war against the tempest and the roaring sea occasioned by the enemy of our soul. Despite all the challenges we may encounter while on our journey to Heaven, may the Lord empower us to win the race and live eternally with Him after leaving this vain world. Amen!
© Pause and Ponder.

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