Three Proven Ways to Run the Race Before Us

Three Proven Ways to Run the Race Before Us
by Ronnie Hewitt
Several times in the Bible, our everyday life in Christ is described as a race. We’re off and running in this marathon, and each day presents new challenges as we move along. All the while, we know that God has provided the path we’re supposed to take. But how exactly can we run this race that is set before us? Thankfully, we’re not left running in the dark. The author of Hebrews provides 3 proven ways to keep us on the right track.
Remember the cloud of witnesses: We get our start in the race of life by remembering that we’re not alone. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” (Hebrews 12:1a). We’re not the only ones to take this journey. People have run this way before, as Hebrews 11 shows (a chapter that’s often called the “hall of faith”). Our spiritual ancestors answered God’s call and set out on the race set before them. Their example gives us encouragement. But we don’t have to look back to find “heroes of the faith.” We can find them today, right in the pews and chairs on any given Sunday morning. Christians are meant to make this journey together, and we’re much stronger when we do. Seeing the powerful examples of faithfulness around you can give you the courage you need to charge ahead.
Throw off the Sin that Entangles Us: If we’re to keep chugging along on the right path, we can’t do so if we’re constantly tripping up. The writer of Hebrews describes it this way: “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1b). We can’t run very well if we’re bound up in the snares of sinful living. Those things that seem so satisfying in the moment can take our eyes off the prize and keep us fixated on temporary thrills. But we’re called to a much better path. “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).
Looking to Jesus: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). As we run and keep our eyes on Jesus, God works on us, making us more and more like His Son. Ultimately, He will bring us to our long-awaited reward: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).