When I’m healthy and not weighed down with problems is when I should be running my hardest for God; however, my tendency is to take it easy and waste time. Trouble, however, tends to draw me closer to God because I realize how much I need Him–and thus, it’s in the hardships I seem to serve Him most fervently. When I am closest to God, His Spirit sparks the deepest fire of the warrior within me and makes me acutely aware of my critical mission and the relative lack of importance of worldly distractions. Being connected to God’s Spirit provides me constant inspiration and passion to stay in the race. Paul the Apostle said: “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:22-24) Paul understood the relative lack of importance of his physical well-being when compared to the critical mission of sharing the news of God’s grace. Because he LIVED in that reality, God gave Paul a life filled with extraordinary adventure and opportunity! When our life becomes “nothing to us,” it can become ANYTHING and EVERYTHING for GOD! God is the only One Who can make something out of nothing; but to become something, the nothing must be willing to be emptied of everything. When we live compelled by the Spirit, then our life becomes full of God because it is emptied of us. We do not fear pain and hardship because our focus is on running the race for the Master Who has given us everything. If the race takes us through the desert or rugged terrain, we stay the course because we know that God is greater than any obstacle. The fewer obstacles we have, the harder we should run so that we accomplish the most distance in the race. We CAN do ALL things through HIM! (Phil. 4:13)