It is important to understand the race you are running. You wouldn't sign up for a triathlon and train for a mall walk, would you?
[Steve Myers] God has called us to the most amazing spiritual race. In Hebrews chapter 12, it talks about the aspects of our life, and it being like a spiritual race. It gives us some wonderful examples in Hebrews 11 of those who have run that race before us and set the pace. And in Hebrews chapter 12, He reminds us to consider those that have gone before and pattern our lives after them. Then He tells us to compare that to ourselves, look at our own life. What’s weighing us down? What’s hindering us from running the way that they have? And what could speed us along that great spiritual path?
He also tells us there’s another thing we can consider as we think about this calling that God’s given us. He tells us that we can consider the race itself. Think about the race that God has called us to, living a life that is in honor to Him. He tells us in chapter 12 of Hebrews – He said, “Lay aside every weight and sin that so easily ensnares us, and let’s run with endurance the race that’s set before us” (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×). So as we think about that race – you know, what is a race like? I think sometime in our lives we’ve all run a race, we’ve been a part of, you know, maybe a competition or a class had to go on a run, or we watch the Olympics on TV. And we see how those races, those sprinters run. We see how the long distance runners run. And in a sense, He points us to think about that as a metaphor to our spiritual race. One of the things, when you think about a race – usually they’re run on a track. And those tracks, if you’ve ever seen how a race is run, especially on the shorter distances – shorter distances, those runners have to stay in their lane. They’re assigned a lane, and on those short distances, they have to stay in that lane. If for some reason, you know, they stray out of that lane, well, you know what happens to them. They get disqualified if they step out of their lane. So they have to run the race that was assigned to them. They can’t go in somebody else’s lane and run their race. They have to run their own race.
And I think there’s an interesting comparison when you think about that. When we’re called to the spiritual race, it’s not a competition with somebody else. It’s a challenge for each of us to run the race that we’ve been called to. And so we have to stay in our own lane in that sense and run that race ourselves. I can’t be concerned about somebody that’s beside me. I can’t be concerned about somebody that may have gone way ahead of me. I have to worry about myself. In fact, the apostle Paul uses that analogy in 1 Corinthians 9. He tells us there, that he says when you run a race you want to get the prize, you want to win that prize. So he says, “Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” That starts in 1 Corinthians 9:24 1 Corinthians 9:24Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.
American King James Version×.
And so we’ve got to run that. God’s called us to our own race in that sense. And so we have to run a race that’s set before us. That’s what we’re told. In fact, in Hebrews 12, he says “Run it with endurance”. Run it with endurance. So this isn’t just a sprint, and the race is over. Here, the endurance that we need means that we’ve been called to a lifetime of racing, in that sense. This most amazing spiritual race will go on to the end of our life. And so he sets us in that kind of a race. So it’s not just a quick burst of energy and it’s over with. No, we need the endurance that is well, more or less – it’s going to be a sustained spiritual effort that’s ongoing. And so he tells us that kind of endurance is needed. It’s necessary. It’s absolutely something that’s needed for us to win the race that’s set before us.
So no wonder we’re given all of these examples like Moses who went before us and how over all this lifetime period that he sustained that effort, especially as they came out of Egypt and went on for forty more years – boy, you talk about a sustained effort – that we can look to that example and we can strive to live by that, as well. And so to think of that – that is an amazing example of faithfulness that was exhibited before us. And you know an amazing thing about that is we can do the same thing. When we consider the race, we consider ourselves and those that have gone before, what a great reminder that we can win this race. Certainly with God’s help as we run with endurance, he says we can run and we can obtain that imperishable crown. That’s what 1 Corinthians 9 tells us. We cannot just win a wreath of laurels that are going to die and wear out, but we can obtain the imperishable crown.
So what a great reminder as we consider the race. Let’s run with endurance.
We’ll think about this a little bit more next time on BT Daily. We’ll see you then.