If you were training for a marathon would you start training the day before the race? Probably not. Preparation for a long distance running event takes weeks, even months.
To prepare for the event you would start by changing your diet: eating healthier foods and drinking plenty of water. You would develop a marathon-training plan and schedule your days around your workouts. Mentally, you would remove anything that distracted you from your goal and shift your focus on being in the best shape you could possibly be in so that you could prevent yourself from getting sick. A few days before the race you would load up on carbohydrates.
The usual time runners train for marathons is between two to four months. During that time they train their body and their mind for pain because they believe that the prize is worth fighting for. Discomfort may come but thinking about the moment that they cross the finish line motivates them to work harder.
Runners sacrifice eating some their favorite foods, but food is isn’t the only thing that they sacrifice. Their mind is so tuned into the race that social time with friends and working on hobbies are placed on hold.
King Jehoshaphat prepared his heart to seek God (2 Chronicles 17:1-6). Jehoshaphat reigned as the king of Judah for 25 years. During his reign his kingdom enjoyed peace and prosperity because he delighted himself in the Lord and removed all the high places and wooden images. It took courage to remove these idols because the people still had a desire to worship them.
It takes courage to remove things that make us feel good. But if we don’t remove them they will causes distractions in our lives and make it harder and harder for us to reach our goal. When we focus our hearts and minds on pleasing God we will be able to fulfill the goals that God has planned for us.
Are there any roadblocks standing in your way that you’re fighting to keep? Remove the barriers. Success comes to those who thoroughly prepare for it!