Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with so great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us – Hebrews 12:1.
Christians have a race to run; this race is set before them; it is marked out unto them, both by the Word of God and the examples of the faithful servants of God, that cloud of witnesses with which they are compassed about.
The race must be run with patience and perseverance. Faith and patience are the conquering graces and, therefore, must always be cultivated. Cultivation is through prayer, fasting, reading, and studying the Word of God, as well as hearing the Word of God and then applying it to your life.
Everyone receiving salvation will automatically be placed in a race; whether or not the race will be won depends on the individual. God gave us Genesis, indicating our physical birth, but there will also be an Exodus when we exit this world to enter into an everlasting life with the Father and Son.
This race is combined with trials, tribulations, and tests; this is why we have been admonished to abide in the Lord, and His Word abide in us. When God looks at us, He wants to see His Son’s reflection in us. If we’re living like the world, He would not see His Son’s reflection in us, which will cause a problem for us with the Father.
We are in the Potter’s hand, and He is shaping and molding us, creating Himself in us. One of Jesus’ disciples asked to see the Father, and Jesus’ reply was when they see Him, they see the Father (Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father: and how sayest thou then, show us the Father – John 14:9). Jesus was the example of His Father, as children of God we too should be an example of our Father, and for us to be shaped and molded into the image of the Father and Son, we go through many trials and tribulations that will either strengthen our faith or weaken it.
Jesus asked the Father to make His disciples one with Him and the Father (That they all may be one as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me – John 17:21). Salvation is a gift from Jesus to those who will accept the gift, therefore relieving them from the wrath of God. After receiving salvation, every individual should grow spiritually.
In the natural when a child is born, if it doesn’t have a disformity, the child is supposed to grow, and learn how to feed and clothe themselves. The child grows from a baby to a toddler to and adolescence, if not the child is considered as having a mental, emotional or physical defect. Spiritually when a person receives salvation he or she should grow spiritually in the things of God, if not they too is considered as having a spiritual defect better known according to the Bible as carnality.
Carnality can cause one to be defeated and suffer loss. We’re on a journey to the Promised Land, and on this journey, there will be many distractions to try to get us to focus on the world rather than focus on the Word of God. There are many giants on this journey, giants of lust, fear, doubt, pain, and suffering, being busy along with many other giants of distractions, but we have to stay focused, knowing that the Lord is with us. He never leaves or forsakes us; as a matter of fact, He’s the one in front of us; all we have to do is follow His leading.
When we decide to separate ourselves from the things of the world to be led by Jesus, it’s called sanctification. Sanctification should be accompanied by salvation to grow spiritually. Sanctification is not a denomination, but it’s a separation from the actions of the world. No one can encounter Jesus and stay the same unless he or she doesn’t cultivate their faith by communicating with the Father through prayer and receiving His written Word.
Don’t think when you decide to follow Jesus all the way that it will be a bed of roses because it will not be, but through the difficulties we go through will be worthwhile (And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and join-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together – Romans 8:17). Today’s teaching is as Christians we don’t have to suffer, but this is not Scriptural and when people begin to suffer they blame God. They decide to return to the world’s thinking and actions. God will not allow us to go through a test, trial, or tribulation without empowering us to take it and come out with victory.
God has empowered us for victory; He has given us a portion of His Spirit. Jesus has foretold us that in the world we will have tribulation, but don’t worry, don’t fret because He has overcome the world (These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world – John 16:33) Because Jesus has overcome the world when we place our trust in Him, we too will be overcomers.
We can’t have victory being disconnected from the Father and Son. God has given us an instruction manual on how to serve Him and how to stay connected with Him, and it’s through prayer, reading, and studying the Word of God coupled with fasting. Endure hardship, keep your armor on, stay focused, stay connected with the Father, and keep your faith in Jesus and the Word of God.
Christians are on a journey to the Promised Land, and we must endure what comes with the journey to make it to our destiny. Don’t lose faith or try to be a part of the world and a Christian. It will not work (Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world: If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world – 1st John 2:15-16). Take time, read and study the Word of God, apply it to your life. It will bring life and not damnation.