Hebrews 12:1–2 (NKJV)
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 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, 2 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.
What a wonderful image here, I think of us running the marathon of faith with the crowds of past runners cheering us on. There is some debate as to what this actually means, but it is a great illustration of our faith being played out with the hope we see in previous generations. Whether this is previous saints in their glorious state literally cheering us on, or the idea that we can learn from previous experiences of past saints, there is great hope when we follow in the footsteps of some of the pillars of our faith.
As we are running towards the cross, we should be loosening the weights and sin that can slow us down so drastically. So true isn’t it? Sin can pull us to a complete stop if we allow it to do so. I know I can be staring right at the cross, running my race, then all of a sudden I step into a little sin, then that sin grows and grows because that is what sin does. All of a sudden, I am caught up in that sin so much that I have set my eyes on the power of sin instead of the promise of the cross. We must shed those things which hinder us from running our race with endurance.
How Do We Run This Race?
We must run this race with inspiration, we should be following the lead and direction that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We should practice like Him, we should run like Him, and most importantly, we should finish our race like Him. This race is more like an obstacle course sometimes, but if we fix our eyes on Him and Him alone, we can overcome the obstacles and finish strong.
Some of us are just starting out our race, others are in the middle, while others still are nearing the end. Each of us should be lead to the cross, the mighty symbol of our end goal. We must study the course carefully each day, practice continually, that we may finish our race at the foot of the cross. The Lord will be at the end of the road, waiting to tell us “well done.”
Our life is a marathon in many different ways, do we look to the Lord for guidance and endurance or do we give up at the first sign of trouble? Let the Lord lead you today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life. If you listen, He will guide you to the most glorious finish line ever.
Mark 8:34 (NKJV)
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.