An Appointed Race
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily best us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us – Hebrews 12:1.
Every Christian has a particular race that God has set before them to run. It is a spiritual race that has to do with the divine destiny He has planned for them to fulfill.
God’s plan for the Christian is not only to run the race but to finish the race well ( I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith – 2nd Timothy 4:7). In order to finish the race, we must strip ourselves from everything that will hinder us from running the race in a way that will be pleasing to God. In the natural when a runner dresses for any track events in the Olympics, you never see a runner with an overcoat or street clothes on because wearing those would slow them down. The spiritual race Christians are running can’t have sin and weights that will hinder and keep them from finishing the race to enter into the Promise Land of Heaven.
Sin in the life of a Christian will not only hinder their fellowship with God, it will also dull their spirit and cause them to be less responsive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Sin left unchecked will cause one to live in the natural real or be governed by their five physical senses and as a result they will miss God’s best for their life. Some are blaming God for the way their life is when it was them that led themselves in the situation they’re in. It is very easy to become too entangled with legitimate affairs of life; things which may be good in themselves, but are not what God has called for them to do.
This is why the Christian has been instructed to strip off those weights and sins in our lives that are tripping us up and slowing us down spiritually. Every Christian must pull off their own weights and sins, God is not going to do it for us. The Holy Spirit within us is our Helper, He will let us know what is sin, what is hindering us from growing spiritually, that is why it is so important for our spiritual ears to be open to hear what the Spirit is telling us. We can’t hear what the Spirit is saying if we have our ears full of secular music, profanity, and gossip. Our hear will be dull of what the Spirit is saying because we have led ourselves from the things of God.
That’s why some people have trouble running their spiritual race; they are not stripping off the things that slow them down or hold them back. They are not laying aside the sin or sins that wraps itself around them tripping them and hindering them from running their appointed race. Another reason people sometimes have trouble running their spiritual race is that they are not running the race God told them to run. They are not following His plan or purpose for their lives. When this happens, their race becomes hard and burdensome to run.
Often the difficulties we face in running our appointed race are not the result of God’s yoke upon us or trying to fulfill His will for our lives. Many times, the difficulties we encounter are the result of what we have failed to do by not stripping off everything that would hinder us. In the same way we would take off our coat and hang it up, make the same decision to strip off every wrong motive, selfish ambition, carnal inclination and desires of the flesh that will hinder us in our race. Lay aside weights and sins like pride, selfishness, double-mindedness, spiritual slothfulness and fear, as well as prayerless. Not taking the time to read the Bible looking and seeing what God’s instructions is telling us to do as Christians.
Another hindrance is being impatience; we can make our way difficult when we don’t have patience, patience is a virtue, and we must have it if we’re going to run this appointed race. Patience can be a challenge for many people, as many Christians become impatient in their desire to see God’s plans and purposes fulfilled in their lives. Joseph was seventeen when God begins to give him dreams, but he was around about thirty years old when he became governor of Egypt. Although God had a plan and purpose for Joseph, life was not a bed of roses for Joseph.
Joseph brothers sold him to the Midianites, Pharaoh’s wife lied on him and he was thrown in prison. Pharaoh had a dream and he needed interpretation of the dream is when he was set free from prison. Thirteen years had passed before the plan of God was manifested in Joseph’s life. If he would have grown tired of waiting on God, and blaming God for what he had endured, he never would have became governor of Egypt, he never would have been in the position to have a place for his family to dwell. Being a Christian sometimes is not easy, but we must keep the faith, continue to pray and fast for our unsaved loved ones, through our prayers and fasting, touching the heart of God to give them an encounter with God that will give them a place to live eternally.
What may seem like a great length of time to use may be only a fleeting moment from God’s perspective. That’s why it’s important to learn to rest in the promises of God’s Word without regard to time limits. When we learn to enter into the rest of faith, we give the Lord the freedom to bring His plan to pass in our lives. Find the race that God has appointed you, strip off the weights and sins that would hinder you from obeying God. Then run your appointed race with your eyes set on the goal the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Be determined to follow God’s plan for your life and finish your course with the joy of the Lord!