A lot can be learned by examining the experiences of the runners before us, but failing to examine yourself will hinder you from finishing your own race.
[Steve Myers] We have been called to the most amazing spiritual race by the calling of God. And He gives us ways that we can win that race. He gave us wonderful examples in chapter 11 in the book of Hebrews about those who have run this race before us and are still awaiting the promise, still awaiting the kingdom of God. And so we can follow their example as they are those that went before us and in a sense are winners of that race.
He also tells us – something else to consider as we run this race is that we need to look at ourselves. In Hebrews chapter 12, He says, “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” – by those that went before us – He says, “let’s lay aside every weight and every sin that so easily ensnares us. And let’s run that race with endurance” (Hebrews 12:1 Hebrews 12:1Why seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
American King James Version×). And so, we have to think of ourselves. We have to consider ourselves – consider ourselves as we run this race. The first thing as we think about it is how are we running it? Are we weighted down? You know, are we like the Olympic runners? Have you ever watched, you know, some of the different events at the Olympics? You know, what are those that run those shortest races wear when they run? Well, you’ve seen them. They wear those little shorts and little tank top and shoes, and that’s it. They’re not weighted down with an overcoat. You know, they don’t have big army boots on or anything like that. They run in a way that makes it easy to run that race. They’re not weighted down with all that stuff.
And so the Bible compares all of that stuff that can weight us down to sin. Sin weighs us down. And all of those various aspects, and whether it’s anger, or whether it’s jealousy, or whether it’s greed, or whether it’s impatience – those things weight us down. And so we’re told to consider ourselves. We might even ask ourselves, “What is it that’s weighting me down? What is there in my life?” He says lay aside all of it, every aspect, every weight that weighs us down. So think about ourselves. Look at our lives and consider that and get rid of those things that are standing in the way of us being like those great figures of faith. He tells us that that’s what we need to do. We need to get rid of all of that extra baggage so that we can be the kind of spiritual people that can win that race. And that’s what God wants for us.
And so think about those areas in our life. Do we have those things that drag us down? Or maybe we can think about it in the positive sense. How can we pick up the pace? How can we move spiritually that much stronger and that much better? You know, is there something that can help speed me along this spiritual race, that I can do something that really is that much stronger and faster in a spiritual sense. Or maybe on the other hand, are there those things that maybe slow me down? But we need to consider that. And if we’re going to live a life that is an amazing spiritual event, then we can do that very thing. So let’s consider ourselves as we run this great spiritual race.
We’ll talk about it a little bit more next time on BT Daily. We’ll see you then.