“Therefore let’s also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who has endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, that you don’t grow weary, fainting in your souls.”
“Therefore lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”
Hebrews 12:1-3, 12-13
This is God’s instruction to His daughters in every generation of human history. Anything that stops us becoming holy, as Jesus is, we must get rid of. Anything that prevents us from learning the Scriptures and living them out in our daily lives, must be set aside. Anything that takes up too much time and stops us being in God’s presence one-to-one, must be curtailed. Whatever sins beset us and keep us from being like Jesus our Lord, must be ruthlessly put out of our lives.
When we are operating as God intends us to, and all ungodliness is progressively done away with, we can run. We run the race of our lives right to the very end. The race of the Christian life, has been marked out for us by our wise God. His purposes will ripen quickly in lives that are given over to Him. Our motivation is Christ Himself. As we fix our intent, will and sight on Him, and as we read the Word of God, our faith grows. He has run the race already and knows the way. Jesus will perfect the faith of every Christian, and teach us every step of the way.
We are His joy. This is hard to understand. How can sinful troublemakers be a joy to the Living Lord!? But even as He stepped out of the womb and into this troubled world, He endured it all for the sake of His people. Amazingly, the shame of such a death as He died, was scorned by Him and did not deflect His intentions. His eyes were on His throne. That’s where He belongs and He is there now, calling His people into His kingdom, and bringing them home to glory also. What a Saviour…
He is our pattern and our power. We will overcome in the power of the Spirit, because of Him. When we are discouraged, we look at Him and how He reacted in every situation. We see His dedication to the Father and His total obedience. This is the way we must go. The rejection and antagonism Jesus faced from the religious leaders of His day, was virulent and murderous. He answered their petty questions, with authority and supreme dignity.
“They hated me without a cause.”John 15:25
Such is the folly of people. When we see how our Lord dealt with these kinds of situations, and the opposition of people, we learn and are encouraged to keep going.
Do not be down hearted if you think God is too harsh with you. We trust in His judgment and rely on His love to go through all troubles. Nothing happens by accident.
Make your arms strong for the fight and your legs strong for the race. It is not easy, but those who belong to God, will get through. Many fall by the wayside but those who guard their behaviour and put a protection around their mind, will not fall. When we do fall, and that is always a possibility, there is forgiveness and restoration when we repent and turn again to the Lord.
We are to tread carefully in this life, as it is full of sin and trouble. Walk circumspectly and obey the Lord your God and you will not fall into temptations. Weakness is our natural state, so we must walk with our Master every step, and in the power of the Holy Spirit we will be victorious.
The key is holiness. Put off all sin and put in obedience. Those who desire Christ will find increasing holiness as they walk with Him.