We have a continual choice to make about whether or not we will walk with our God – about whether or not we will run with perseverance the race of faith, the true amazing race, marked out for us. And we each have to make this choice intentionally and actively every single day of our lives.
…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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, [the author] the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2
To run this amazing race, we need to get rid of all of the junk – all of the sin and all of the empty, self-focused thinking, speaking and acting – that holds us back, weighs us down and trips us up. If we’re honest with ourselves, we can easily recognize the entangling sin in our lives that needs to be thrown out and thrown off! We’re also to throw off everything that hinders us from running our faith race with perseverance. Sometimes these hindering things are harder to recognize because they are not always, and not necessarily, sin. Rather, they are often the things we let run our lives, even unintentionally. And these hindering things can definitely run us ragged with our overbooked schedules, our attempts to please everyone (family members, friends, bosses, coworkers, teachers, peers, fellow believers), our lack of sleep, our lack of healthy eating patterns and, especially, by our lack of time spent resting in God’s love and presence and meditating on His Word.
Let’s get on with really living like God’s children and being the people of faith we have been saved and called to be. Let’s choose to run our race of faith with determined and deliberate perseverance as we follow our Lord Jesus. Let’s run (grow, mature, think, speak and act) our faith race with our eyes firmly fixed and focused on Jesus and on His way of doing things, according to the pace that He sets for us.
We can trust our God who runs (crawls, walks, leaps and dances) with us every step of the way. Our God will continually pour out His love, peace, strength and courage so that we may be able to endure and conquer all the hardships, frustrations and barriers that could ever come at us. Even if some of these had been put there by us!
Let’s put our faith in Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and allow Him to mark out and plan the course of our race. Jesus is the One, the Only One, who is able to give us His deep and eternal joy no matter what our day – no matter what our faith race – may bring. Jesus already ran straight into hell for us in order to secure our place in heaven with Him!
Because of all that Jesus has already accomplished for us, may we each choose to be a bucket and be filled with God’s unfailing love that gives us the power to run our faith race with perseverance! May we each choose to share, even now, in the conquering, victorious joy that our Lord Jesus offers to us! And may we share His joy with all those around us – who may be running themselves ragged – as we run the race marked out for each of us!