"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)
Running The Distance
In many ways, we each do the same thing daily. Conditioning ourselves. Maybe not our bodies for competitions, but conditioning ourselves spiritually for the biggest race of our lives. The race to endure to the end. To do so just like in running, we must condition ourselves daily. Which consists of prayer, Bible time and whenever possible, up building one another in faith.
I am finding that the closer I get to achieving a "milestone" mark, the tougher the race gets. ("bigger level, bigger devil") I am finding that at those particular "mileposts" that God will provide a much needed boost in reminding me of what I would need to focus my energies on in order to win. As always, He runs with me. At Philippians 4:8-9 we read, "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable, and right and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise…then the God of peace will be with you."
As a former runner I can tell you, the conditioning part was tough! As I would monthly set a goal of more distance. Starting out with a new mark to beat was always exciting as I would tell myself that I beat each tough mark previously. In the end I was rewarded with either a win or a good placement when I competed. Spiritually, we should all strive for daily conditioning to perfect our faith. If we do so and don't procrastinate because we are having doubts or problems, or are stressed for time, we are in the end duly rewarded. At 1 Corinthians 9:23-25 we read this "I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one."
Conditioning and perfecting our faith will come with trials and adversities. It's in those moments that we erase all doubts which spring up and know it will all be okay. That WE are okay. Remember firstly, it's only temporary and the pay off at the end is worth it. It's in those moments that we would do good to reflect on God's grace. A grace that is sufficient in all things. At 2 Corinthians 12:9 we read, "But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me"
In running terms, our race is not a sprint but a marathon that God will support and Coach us through. Directly through prayer and His word. Remember that Christ is the ultimate Coach, who believes in YOU. He believed in you enough to sacrifice His all for you and has claimed you as His own. He will not let you lose this race. Psalm 121:1-8 reads, "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand."
Winning The Race
No matter what arises as we run this marathon to the end remember there is already a victory. On making it to the end and winning, we read at 2 Timothy 4:7-8 "I have fought well. I have finished the race, and I have been faithful. So a crown will be given to me for pleasing the Lord. He judges fairly, and on the day of judgment he will give a crown to me and to everyone else who wants him to appear with power."
In the end, after each milestone, we can rejoice as it brings us all the more closer to our reward. To finish and win a race where we all can claim a wonderful victory which Christ offers us. At Hebrews 12:1,2 we read this, "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, 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." Today is the day to claim victory!
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Music To Worship Hand In Hand With This Post
All I Need Is You---Kim Walker (Jesus Culture)
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