“… let us strip off and throw aside every unnecessary weight and the sin which so cleverly clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady, active persistence the appointed course that has been set before us, looking away from all that will distract us to Jesus, who is the Leader and the Source of our faith; the One who brings it to maturity and perfection.”* Hebrews 12:1b-2a
Paul, writing to Greek-speaking Jews who had heard the gospel and embraced Christ as their Messiah, likens a Christian’s walk to a race. As with runners, one must pace themselves. To be a successful distance runner requires endless hours of training to build up their endurance. They must be persistent in their training and not falter lest they fall by the way side. Likewise, a believer must be persistent in matters of faith, trusting the Lord under all circumstances or they will falter.
The unnecessary weight that Paul speaks of represents worldly cares and the stresses of life that dampen our spirits with astounding regularity. It is for this reason that we must fix our gaze on the One in whom we have placed our faith and trust. He is the only One who can cause in us a spiritual maturing. Although not literally perfect, those who have surrendered their will to the Lord are seen as perfect in God’s sight.
Our walk with Christ can be a revolutionary event in our lives if we remain patient and endure all things. The longer we serve Christ and grow in God’s grace, the more like Him we will become in thought, word and deed. Therefore, cast off that which weighs us down and run a steady course in the name of Christ and you will be a success in the Kingdom of God. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
* A subtle variation on the Amplified Bible text.