Heb 12:1 ¶ Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Learning to run with patience…
It has been said that “the christian race is not a sprint but a marathon.” Twenty-six years ago I got into the christian race when I received Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. In July of 2016 I ran my first 5k (3.1 miles). Less than two years after that, in April of 2018, I ran my first marathon (26.2 miles) . I am not a sprinter or what many would consider a fast runner. Our people at Calvary Road Baptist Church have often heard me say “I am not a thoroughbred horse type of runner,” which is bred for speed that you would likely find in the bluegrass of Kentucky. I am more of a clydesdale horse bred for strength and endurance! I train for endurance and literally for the long run. God has used this to give me some spiritual insight on the Christian race. Everyone has seasons of burdens and heartache. Everyone has had their seasons of reaping and sowing. Everyone has had their time of growth and setbacks. Anyone with a sincere desire to serve the Lord has had times where they felt close to the Lord and has had times where they have strayed away. For the record, even the scriptures remind us that we all stray away. Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;
The literal race and the christian race
I have come to find the above reference in Hebrews 12:1 to be very true in the christian and physical race. There are many factors that affect the way we run. The bible makes it clear to lay aside the “weight and sin.” Unfortunately these weights and sins affect our performance or service to the Lord. I believe that there is a spiritual application to be made that weights refer to pressure and/or stress that affect the mind, while sin directly affects our heart. These weights and sins influence our spirits and attitudes as well. Life circumstances, burdens, trials, storms, jobs, school, relationships, health conditions, financial trouble, worries, fears or things that weigh us down distract our minds which affect our service. God is concerned with us giving him our heart, soul, and minds. Mt 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
When we are caught in sin or when there is hidden sin in our life it has even more drastic consequences in our relationship and service to the Lord. The bible says, Pr 28:13 ¶ He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. There is other scripture such as the story of Achan that shows us how even sin in the life of one man can hinder the progress of a nation and have adverse effects on his family. Sin does not just affect ourselves but always affects those around us as well.
Statistics show that less than 1 percent of the population in America. (.5% to be exact) have actually ran a marathon in their lifetime. Marathon training takes a lot of patience, preparation, physical fitness and frankly, mental toughness. Statistics also show that in today’s culture that there is a drastic decline in church involvement and attendance. Many start well but don’t finish well. Many get into the christian race but don’t finish the course. What a powerful statement given by the Apostle Paul when he said, 2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
It is our goal through this blog and devotions we will share to help keep christians encouraged to “run with patience.” Pray with us as we pray for you that we “finish our course,” that we “run the race” and that we “press toward the mark” (the finish line) in this Christian Race!
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.