The 12th chapter of Hebrews written to Jewish Christians reminds us to not grow weary; but to continue running God’s race with our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Friends, we live in a world filled with distractions. We find ourselves many days on a hamster wheel going through our day running and running. But are we running the right race? Or are we running a race that we have fashioned for ourselves? One in which we run towards fortune, notoriety, perfectionism, accomplishments? The author of Hebrews reminds us that the race we must run is for Christ, in Christ, and through Christ; The race we run as Christians is one in which we spiritually grow in character, love, endurance, holiness and faith.
A few days ago I went for a walk and was caught up in a race that was being run by hundreds of people. They ran past me and looked so professional. I was just on a walk listening to my podcast. But what caught my attention was the intentionality of the runners. They were running to win. The ones in the lead were particularly focused. As I walked farther along, I saw the stragglers. They were chatting and looking forward every now and then. I thought about the following words in Hebrews 12:
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
So we do run. But we run the race that has been planned for us keeping our eyes on Jesus. We do not run aimlessly, but with purpose. As I walked along, it occurred to me that I have run a lot of races in my own way and with my own purpose and then as an after thought, I invited God to come along.
The Jewish Christians, to whom the author was writing, were facing persecution. They were weary and wondering if following Jesus was worth it. Perhaps some of them were tempted to turn back.
Are you feeling that way today? You sense the Lord has called you to run with purpose following His lead, but you are ready to give up. Do not give up; instead look up. He is running before you leading the way. And another amazing thing… there is a cloud of witnesses in the stands of your life cheering you on.
Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)