Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” NASB
In the last devotional we discussed the challenge or instruction written in the Book of Hebrews to Christians who were struggling with their new life and dealing with its difficulties. The challenge was, “Let Us Run.” Today, I would like for us to consider How we are to Run that Race.
We are to Run Stripped of Every Handicap. That sounds elementary and complex. How and What is he talking about? It is our objective to win the race or finish the course and therefore want nothing to hinder our speed or impede our journey, right? There are some things that must be done and things that must be considered.
If we expect to run this race successfully it is imperative that we Put Aside Sin, Every Sin. I call to your remembrance the story of Samson. He was a match for every difficulty and situation until he broke his vows and then he was like everybody else and easily defeated.
Not only are we to put aside every Sin but every Weight. What is the difference? A weight is something that is not, in itself, sinful but if we allow it to continue will become sinful through wrong use. I believe there is a biblical test for everything.
One simple question that we should ask in every situation is, “Does this help or hinder me in running this Christian Race?” I read an account was a crow was caught in a river by a young boy without any special equipment. The crow had gotten its toe caught in a mussel shell that was lodged between some rocks and could not fly away. The mussel shell or trap did not kill the crow. It did not break his wings so that he could not fly but made his movement difficult if not impossible and allowed him to be captured. Do not allow the weights of life to impede your progress, cast all your care on Jesus!
A third thing that we need to consider in this challenge is not only are we to run and remove all hindrances, but we are to run with Patience. That is possibly the most difficult of all. This Christian Life or Race is not a sprint it is a marathon. Sadly, some lose patience because they face opposition. Opposition is to be expected. The Bible warned that if we serve God, we will face persecution. Most of us face little if any and nothing compared to what they faced in the days of the writing of the Bible.
Patience is urged because believers have no right to lose heart considering what Jesus did and is doing. In a very real sense, suffering as a mark of sonship. Not that we should seek suffering but if we suffer for our faith that is not a bad thing and God takes note of it in giving us strength and protection.
Finally, we are to Run Looking to Jesus. The literal translation is that we are to run looking away from everything but Jesus. I like that. He is our Source. He is our Example. He is our Constant Help in the Time of Need. We can make our lives count for Jesus if we will follow the prescription of the writer of Hebrews.
Remember, we have a Great Cloud of Witnesses. We have Jesus as our Constant Source of Help, Supply, and Strength. We have the Guidance and Provision of the Word, the Covenant, and the Promises of the Word of God to help us Stand and Grow in Grace.
May the LORD help you as you ‘strive’ to enter in and run this race with patience and unencumbered by weights and sins.
Have a fantastic day in Him!