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Closing The Chapter, Setting The Pace, Enduring The Race
by Sheila Lockhart
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“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”. ___Hebrews 12:1

Up until this day, I would allow myself to look back in the past at situations and circumstances, some in which I allowed the enemy to have place, and others that crept upon me. And I would rehearse them over and over in my thought pattern, in my conversations with other people, in my sleep at times, but on this very day, God says, “CLOSE THE CHAPTER AND ENDURE THE RACE THAT I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU”.

God wants me to stop rehearsing the past and using it as an excuse to minister, that chapter is over and it is time to move on to the next. We all know that there are various definitions of the word “endure”, but in this context it means to carry on, continue, or persist. It means not to give up even though there will be times where it looks bleak and we feel as though we cannot go on, but God says that having done all we are to stand. This is where our armor kicks in and we are shielded and support from the adversities that come from Satan our adversary.

In Hebrews 12:2, it says that we must fix our eyes on Jesus, His purpose for us is the finish line in this race. Whenever I read this scripture, I always remember the times when I was a little girl and my mom would take me to see the horses race, and I would always notice that the horses wore blinders on their face so that they could not see what was going on around them. They have one thing in mind and in sight, finishing the race. We have to have the same mindset, “I’m not looking to the left, or to the right, and I am definitely not looking back, but I am looking forward to the path in which God has ordained for my feet to tread.” We cannot go wrong by doing this.

So in closing, I open up myself before the Lord and become transparent to you, believing that as I surrender the Him, you will also be set free.

“Father as I humble myself to you this day, not only in your presence, but in the midst of my readers. I renounce any feelings of un-forgiveness, anger, resentment, or bitterness that I have held against anyone past and present. Father lead me as I follow, give me a heart of flesh and not of stone, tear down any walls that I have constructed due to past emotional experiences. Feel me with the fruit of the Spirit and make it evident in my life and in my actions. Forgive me for times where I have grown weary and times where you have entrusted me with your very deepest secrets and I gossiped. Lord let me speak what you tell me to speak and if my words are not edifying to the hearer, then shut me up, give me a check and conviction in my spirit and let me not tempt you. Help me to tame my tongue and to keep it from running down the anointed because of my own assumptions. And Lord when something appears wrong, help me to bring it before you, not in my natural language, but in my heavenly language and if I am wrong correct me, but if I am correct in my discernment, then correct the situation and help me to continue to love on them. Even those that have wronged me Lord, allow the Fruit to manifest in my reaction.

I know that I am not perfect and I thank you for allowing me to be me as you continue your work in me. I thank you for showing me that I do not have to live up to man/woman’s expectations because I am pleasing in your sight. For you see the finished product in each of us. You look beyond our faults and meet our need. You see the beautiful butterfly that lies asleep in the ugly chrysalis. Help me to look at others in this same way, so that I can effectively minister to them in the agape’ love of Christ. You have shown me that I must imitate you and not people because you have imparted diverse gifts into each one of us, not saying that it is wrong to have someone that you admire as a mentor, but Christ must be evident in their life. Father I thank you for my family both earthly and spiritual. Thank you for the children and youth that you have entrusted to me. Help me to continue to be a positive guide in their lives, and to continue to impart the word and love of God in them. Let me not be too critical of them but allow me to see at the level where they are and give me the words in which to exhort. And if I have offended or neglected them in any way, forgive me. If I need to go back to them and ask for forgiveness, tell me. And Father, as I pray this to you I also pray for my brothers and sisters who are reading this, that yokes are being destroyed and burdens removed, that on this day they are laying down their lives for you and becoming sold out to you. Life on this earth is just a twinkling of the eye, our timing is not His timing. Let us put aside the weight of sin and reach the lost, judgment begins in the house of the Lord. How can we reach the lost if we cannot see our true selves?

Father, enlarge our boundaries, and keep us faithful to you. Let us not forget our first love and let us not become self-righteous, judgmental, and legalistic. I thank you Father, In Jesus Christ’s mighty and precious name, Amen”

Some may read this and think, what a cute and nice sounding prayer, but it takes a bold but yet vulnerable person to yield themselves to the Lord in front of millions or billions of readers who are reading this article. This is not about me, but about God and what He desires to do through me and if it is airing out my laundry, then so be it. This prayer is from the heart, not the flesh. So why don’t you open up your heart and allow God to reconstruct it.

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