Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people. (Isa. 57:14)

AFTER ONE OF MY JOINT REPLACEMENT surgeries, I went through an unusually painful time due to complications. For the first few days, even the physical therapist was uncharacteristically gentle with me. That’s OK, I thought, I’m going through a hard time. I didn’t push myself. However, to this day, my right leg lacks a couple of degrees of full extension. What I needed was not for someone to say, “That’s OK. Don’t worry about making progress. I know it hurts.” I needed someone to say, “All right, cry time is over! Now you’ve got to get out of bed and start using that leg.”

If you want to run the race Christ has set for you, you need to do the hard work of preparation. Don’t surround yourself with people who will say, “That’s OK, don’t worry about it. We’re all human, and everybody fails.” That will not help you to become the person you could be. Taking it easier now will make it harder later.

Somewhere along the line, somebody has to say to you what I’m going to say right now: It’s time to move on. Be done with failure. Be done with sin. Be done with indulging weakness. It’s time to start living a new life in Christ.

Name the primary obstacle that hinders you from running the good race.

Lawrence W. Wilson is a pastor, author, and blogger from Fishers, Indiana. He is the author of A Different Kind of Crazy: Living the Way Jesus Lived (WPH).