Running to Obtain
Not only is it a must to condition the body, but also the mind. Almost any runner will tell you that half the battle to finish comes not from your shoes, or the weather, or even other runners. Rather, you begin to fight with your own thoughts telling you that you can’t possibly go another step, that your legs can’t take any more, that you can’t possibly do what you’ve told yourself you can. While you do have to know your physical limits, you must go back to what you know to be concrete. You’ve trained, you’ve conditioned, and you can and will persevere. As one person put it: “The race always hurts. Expect it to hurt. You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt; you train so you can tolerate it.”
However, if you do not have that foundation to rely on, that’s when your race starts to go from difficult to almost impossible. The apostles knew that without a daily consecration to prayer and the Word, that failure was imminent. There are always going to be times of pain and testing; it was never guaranteed that there wouldn’t. It is our relationship with our Creator, His testimony, and His promises that are going to see us to the end. But if we have not cultivated a routine to strengthen our mind and spirit, while crushing our flesh, we are going to severely struggle and stumble our way through.
Paul opens up Hebrews twelve with three main keys to successfully run our race:
- Lay aside every weight and sin
Paul knew how easy it was to pick up extra weight along the way. There’s so much that is constantly vying for our attention and our time. Things that aren’t always necessary, but only serve to bog us down, and hinder our progress.
- Run with patience
A successful race is a paced race. It’s easy to run your best time at the start, but if you start too fast, you will not have the strength and energy to finish. We must be wise about our strengths and weaknesses and pace ourselves accordingly.
- Look unto Jesus
“…Who for the joy that was set before him endured…” (Hebrews 12:3, KJV) We have a model to look to; One who has not only run the race, but endured and conquered. He is the mark that we press towards. When we keep our attention fixed on Him, our racecourse is fixed to attain the prize.
We have the resources to succeed; a great cloud of witnesses to lean on, and the Author and Finisher who is there every step of the way.
“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:16, KJV)
A proud North Dakotan, Maryssa enjoys good books, the outdoors, coffee, and furry four-legged company. She’s excited for what God is doing in her community, city, and state.