32 I will run the course of Your commandments,
For You shall enlarge my heart.
Have you ever taken a long trip and thought, “It sure would be nice if I could just teleport to where I want to go”?
I have thought that many times. I just want to get there already! Why does it have to take so long?
God could have designed the universe that way. Just think of a place, and you’re there.
Well did you know there are at least two instances of teleportation in the Bible? Situations where someone was in one place, and then instantly translated to another place that was miles away.
I think that is so cool.
One instance is Philip, in Acts 8. The Holy Spirit told him to leave where he was and go out into the desert. There, he came across the chief steward of the queen of Ethiopia, who had a powerful encounter with God. Immediately after this, the Bible says,
the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more… but Philip was found at Azotus. Acts 8:39-40
So Philip was instantly translated about 30 miles!
Another instance is when Jesus walked on water. His disciples were in a boat, and they had rowed out to the middle of the Sea of Galilee. They were about 3 or 4 miles from the other side, and the Bible says that when Jesus got into the boat...
...immediately the boat was at the land where they were going. John 6:21
Not as far as Philip - but the entire boat, and everyone in it was instantly translated 3 or 4 miles! Wow!
So, when traveling on a 20 hour car drive, I think, “Why can’t we teleport like Philip, or like Jesus?”
God could have made that possible. He’s done it at least twice. He could have just made that the norm when He created the world and the laws that govern the universe.
But He didn’t. He deliberately chose to design the world in such a way that we still have to walk - one step at a time.
And then we come to this verse: “I will run the course of your commandments” Ps 119:32
There is some message here from the Lord: life is a race. A long race - a marathon. It’s a course that we walk and run on. And sometimes fall down, and stay down for a while (although God’s Word promises that it will keep us from tripping). Then recover, and go forward again. Step by step, day by day, moment by moment.
I have come to the conclusion that part of the reason God has done this is for our benefit. He wants us to enjoy the journey and to fully experience the process. Of course we grow along the way.
It is also a source of great comfort to know that you are on a long journey. You can stop, take a deep breath, enjoy the sunset, regroup, and start running again.
If your God given dreams and goals seem so lofty that you don’t think you’ll ever make it, you can take heart in knowing that even Mount Everest has been conquered, and in this fashion: one step at a time.
If you’ve experienced set backs, failures, or defeat - you can know that the race isn’t over and you can still move forward.
If you’ve achieved great accomplishments, you can humble yourself under the thought that there are many steps ahead and it’s not time to coast.
The New Testament reiterates this idea of life in God being a marathon:
let us run with endurance the race that is set before us Heb 12:1
So while there are moments that you will experience that supernatural translation - being instantly promoted, or shifted into a new station in life - the real blessing is found in the journey.
Keep your eyes on Jesus; meditate on the race that He finished, and you will find the strength to take another step - and eventually finish your own race.
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:1-2
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.