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On Friday I completed a study of the book of Esther. It’s a really good book. I highly recommend reading it. And studying it. It has God written all over it, even though he is never mentioned. Not even once.

As that study wound to a close, God really impressed on my heart how faithful Mordecai and Esther were to be obedient, regardless of the outcome.

In the end, biblical truisms held true in this life for Mordecai. He had rest from his enemies and evil was pushed back (Proverbs 16:6-7).  His enemies were silenced (Titus 2:7-8). He also was lifted up to a high place of honor (Esther 10:1-3), which is what God promises to those who walk in humility (James 4:10). {No, I do not believe God always raises the humble to positions of honor in this life, but what greater honor will there be than to be invited to the wedding feast in heaven (Revelation 19:9)?}

Thinking about all the events in the book of Esther I have to ask myself the question: Do I live like I believe my job is obedience not outcomes? Do I live for God’s pleasure?

I can’t help but think of the Eric Liddell quote, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

When I run the race set before me – the race of MY life – do I feel God’s pleasure? Do I put off encumbrances and run the race God has set before me with endurance (Hebrews 12:1)? Do I run and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31, Hebrews 12:3)? Do I run to win (1 Corinthians 9:24), not just to finish? Do I live up to the calling God has on my life (Ephesians 4:1) based on how he knit me together (Psalm 139:13-14) trusting that not a hair on my head will perish (Luke 21:18) outside of the will of my father who’s purposes will stand (Proverbs 19:21)?

Runners will tell you one of the surest ways to lose the race is to look around at the other runners to see how they are doing. Their race is not your race. If you are running to win, you must keep your eye on the finish line and run full blast until you cross it.

Running to Win

So, will you run the race God has set before you (Hebrews 12:1) without comparing yourself to others (Galatians 6:4)?

Will you keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2) so that you can remain faithful to the end (Hebrews 3:13-14, Luke 14:28-30, 2 John 1:8)?

Will you run full blast to the end (Revelation 2:10; Hebrews 4:9-13; 2 Timothy 4:7; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 3:12-16), not stealing heaven’s joys in advance by stopping to rest before God has called you home to rest (Revelation 21:1-8; Proverbs 14:12)?

Will you run all the way to the finish line (Hebrews 10:35-39)?

Are you running to win (Philippians 3:14; 2 Timothy 2:5)?