Monday, February 12, 2018

Run What Race

Run What Race
February 12, 2018
Hebrews 12:1  ". . . And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us . . ."

The Apostle Paul wrote with many sports analogies as everyone knew of the original games held in coliseums. He talked about runners in a race, he talked about boxers preparing to fight, and he talked about competing as to get the prize. In the book of Hebrews, although Paul may not be credited for penning the words, an analogy is used to describe runners staying on the course. The author said that we should run the race marked out for us. Some of you may not realize this, but you are like a runner, on a course marked out. But you may not be aware of your particular race.  Run what race? What race is it that you are competing in and who are you competing against?

Your race, and my race, is exactly the same as every other Christian. It is not a race for a specific call of duty, but a generic call to compete against sin, specifically against your flesh that wants to engage in sin. When the author of Hebrews wrote that we should stay the course marked out for us, he was suggesting that we are in a constant battle or competition. Sin is competing for our lives and we have to stay on the course. Staying the course might lead you to believe it is the path the Lord has for your life and while this is completely true (He does have a path for your), staying the course is an admonition to stay in constant efforts to live the righteous life the Lord asks of you. Christianity is a daily thing, not a one time occurrence. You are never finished living a Christian life, that only happens when your life on earth is done. Since you are still living and breathing, your life isn't over; staying the course is a call to maintain your Christianity. Maintaining your Christianity is more than about believing that Jesus died for your sins. Maintaining your Christianity, staying the course, is living according to the principles set before you. It is more than being moral; it is about living as Jesus did, being a righteous man or woman at all times. 

Every day when you wake up, you have a decision to make. Are you going to live out your Christian life or are you going to live as you so desire. There are many days we both choose poorly, serving the flesh, and submitting to our sins. Staying the course means submitting to the Lord every day, not submitting to our flesh. The alternative of staying on the course, is to deviate from it. Getting off course is akin to submitting to your sin, resigning to it permanently. We all have moments of weakness, but then we get submit to the Lord, getting back into focus. The warning in Hebrews is real, as the human tendency is to quit when the going gets tough. Christians quit all the time, laying down, walking away, and forsaking all they have worked towards. There are days each of us would like to quit, trust me, but we must fight against that, believe it will be worth it.

Before the writer of Hebrews cheer leads for us to stay on course, he speaks about all the legendary leaders of the Christian faith. In Hebrews chapter 11, the author talks about those who persevered, stuck it out, pressed forward, did not give up, and kept their Christian faith until the very end of their human existence. You and I are to take those examples, and live like that, like a legend that may never get written about. Man may not see how amazing a Christian you are but the Lord notices every tiny detail of your Christian walk. Stop calling it a Christian walk, because it is more like a Christian marathon. Stay the course. You are running the race of your Christianity.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: 1 Cor 9:24-26, Gal 2:2, Gal 5:7, Phil 2:16, 2 John 1:9

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