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Run For Your Life!

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Do you ever feel like you’re running a race but getting nowhere? Do you sense you’re spinning your wheels, but just can’t hear God’s voice. You just can’t see Him move. He appears to be moving and shaking in the lives around you, but for the life of you, you’re not experiencing Him? Oh man! Have I been there! I’ve been in and out of seasons of intimacy with the Lord, and I always come out of periods of silence with the same lesson – I was out of stride with God. For whatever reason, something was just out of sync, but it was never God. It was always me. Always.

When you’re trying your best to run a race of excellence, the track itself and the rules of running are such that your sin nature will fight against your success. The enemy will seek out your greatest vulnerabilities and do all that he can to keep you from even showing up at the race. That was the entire point in Hebrews. It is saying, “Look people! Y’all are getting lazy! Don’t you remember what God has done for you in giving you His son, Jesus Christ? Have you already forgotten His sacrifice? Do you not realize that the enemy will destroy you if you don’t RUN the race toward spiritual maturity?”

Don’t sulk away like a child who just got in trouble. No! RUN! Run away, and run with perseverance, and run on the course that has already been laid out for you. You don’t have to find your own way or forge your own path. It’s done for you. It’s marked.

Hebrews 12:1 says, And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. I picture this statement to be more like a marathon or cross country race, not a simple stadium track. On a track, both the start and finish lines are visible. Runners can clearly see the end goal. Not so with marathon and cross country courses.

When we’re starting on those kinds of races, we have no idea where we might end up. We are totally unaware of the rocks, hills, mud puddles, and other complications that might make the race difficult. But, there is a Guide along the path, showing us the way. At times, my race has been difficult. I didn’t know where I might end up, and I certainly didn’t know how to get there. God didn’t tell me what was coming, but He did tell me that it was His way. He didn’t tell me how it ended, but He did guide me to the finish line. And, I’m okay.

Your course likely looks different from mine. Perhaps you’ve run the course of a broken childhood, an abusive relationship, a lost job, financial ruin, a prodigal child, a promiscuous past, a heartbreaking divorce. Maybe you’ve experienced the muddy pit of drug, alcohol, or food addiction. You might have the rocks of abortion, pornography, molestation, or infidelity. The bottom line is that we all have journeys, we all are in the race, and we must follow the guide to the finish line.

My challenge to you is to RUN! Don’t wait around for another time, a sunnier day, or a better occasion to begin getting serious about your spiritual growth. This  is the perfect time to strip away any burdens, fears, or stressors. Let them go. Release them to the One who can change them.

 Let's allow the Holy Spirit to condition us to RUN with endurance, with perseverance, and with patience. We can’t sprint and burn all of our steam in the beginning, rather we must allow God to sustain us and maintain us as we walk through the trials of this earth. May He set our gait at a pace that we can prolong to the finish.

Finally, trust God with your course. You may not be able to see the end. You definitely can’t see the tricky twists and turns that will force you to act strategically. But, you can rest assured that He will be the Guide, who will direct you safely to the finish line.

Lindsey Pond

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