1 “Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us.”
Hebrews 12:1 (International Standard Version)
Ready to run? The writer of Hebrews throws down a challenge in four phrases:
The race set before us: God has staked out both the race and the goal. It is a lifelong process of becoming more like Jesus.
Throwing off everything that hinders us: We will run well if we jettison the things that are likely to weigh us down.
You would never see serious runners lugging their backpacks around the track. Many of the things that weigh us down are not wrong in themselves. It could be relationships that pull us away from God, people who sow doubt in our lives, or activities that disrupt our priorities.
In today’s world, one of the hindrances may be the time spent on social media that crowds out quality time with God.
Especially the sin that so easily entangles us: God shows us what sin is. He will point it out through our conscience and through the Scriptures.
Sin that we fail to address erodes our spiritual strength and dims our spiritual sight. No wonder sin causes us to stumble along the race.
Keep running with endurance: This race requires endurance. Endurance implies a few things: it will take some effort, it will be more of an obstacle course than an open road, at times you will want to quit. (Go back to yesterday’s entry — don’t miss the value of fellow-runners.)
The first of the last five devotionals (Athlete, Consider Whether You Want to Walk or Run) began with an account of an athlete who wanted to grow. I asked him if he wanted to walk or run.
He focused on “Christ has me,” chose obedience, connected with some pacesetters, and ran with endurance. He chose to run with passion, intensity and commitment. It changed his life.
Want to walk or run?