I oft times wondered before I was saved what an athlete would do to get into “The Zone”. Some have headphones in, jamming to their favorite music, head bobbing to the beat while they think about the coming event. Some like to go off by themselves and just sit and think about the event. Race car drivers have said they will sit and think about each turn, where to hit their marks, when to let off the gas, how best to save their tires. Bobsledders do the same thing, you can almost watch them lean as they envision each turn even though they are just sitting in a chair. Point is, people have many ways to get their minds and souls into “The Zone”.
Since becoming a Christian so many years ago, I have found myself doing something entirely different than I use to when I wanted to get myself pumped up or calm; I pray. The effects of pray for an athlete whose main focus is not himself, but on God our Father, give the athlete the ability and self assurance to know, that no matter the outcome, God is given all the glory. There is a difference for those who know God and those who do not. For those who do not, the majority will tell you their desire is that they do well, or their team. Mostly it is focused in on self. Now don’t get me wrong, I have done this in my prayer time, especially as of late, “Father bless me with supernatural ability to do well”, or “Father heal my ……). Which on the surface will not seem wrong, but it’s the heart of that betrays us.
It’s a matter of my intentions. Do I want to be healed so I can do the things I want to do? Or do I want to be healed in order that God is the center of what happens and the glory is given only to Him? No matter if the outcome is the way I want it or don’t want it, it doesn’t matter because I need to fulfill the purposes of God, and through me I believe that God, by the power of His Holy Spirit and the shed blood and sacrifice of His Son Jesus, will fulfill His purposes and plans. As long as I am yielded to His will. My intentions and plans mean nothing in the eternal light of His glory.
Our heart as stated in Jer 17:7-10
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
9 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
10 I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings
Looking at this verse it would be easy for me to focus in only on the verse 9, ” The heart is deceitful above ALL things, and desperately wicked” Yikes, ALL things. That covers quite a wide spectrum, but if I look at verse 7 I see that there is clear, concise instruction from the Lord to where I don’t have to trust in my heart, or my own ability, “Blessed is the man who trust in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord”. Whew! It’s not about me, it’s about HIM.
Where is my focus? If I concentrate on Jesus, in anything that I do, I believe His purposes will be fulfilled according to His will and glory as I give my heart over to Him. When I am running or exercising I should be asking Him, “What is your will through this run or time of exercise?” I am encouraged to be bold and ask Jesus for divine appointment where ever I go. Whether it’s sharing His love with someone I meet, or enacting His will in just being obedient. It really doesn’t matter, because I want it to be Him working through me.
In saying all this, I do not want anyone to believe that the Father doesn’t desire us to do our best, or to do well. Not at all, but it’s where our focus is that dictates whether His will is being accomplished through us.
Just pray a short prayer next time you go out running, riding or whatever exercise you do….
“Father I pray that through this time in refining my physical body, that you refine my spiritual body. That through this time, I invite the Holy Spirit to speak to my spirit man and share the mysteries you have stored up for me during this day. Father I desire to be in deeper understanding of what it means to be your son or daughter. Jesus guide me as I begin this workout so that I do not miss your leading in what you want to accomplish through me. Holy Spirit I pray in the name of Jesus that you would strengthen those area’s of my physical and spiritual body that are weak and not in alignment with the will of the Father. I bless you Lord Jesus because you are the only one worthy of our praise.”
Best way to get into the zone is pray and yield ourselves to His will.