Are You Running the Race God Set Before You?

by | May 11, 2020 | Spiritual Warfare

Do you remember Timon from the movie Lion King? A funny guy for sure.

Do you remember his famous words from the movie?

“Do you mean there are a bunch of dead guys up there looking down on us?”

There are people looking down on us, but they are not dead. They are more alive now than when they lived on the earth.

“I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matt. 22:32).

The Bible says a great cloud of witnesses surrounds us. These are our brothers and sisters who went before us.

We could call them spiritual pioneers. Their message: run.

Run the race set before you.

Yes, we are in a race and God desires that we run with endurance.

Therefore, since we are encompassed with such a great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. 2 Let us look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:1-2).

Jesus is the captain of our running team.

Runners avoid extra weight. Serious runners purchase lightweight shoes and the lightest clothing. Christians should also run their spiritual life with a light load. When believers fall into sinful behavior it adds weight to their soul.

The believer is to lay sin and weight aside. For instance, the sin of pornography adds a weight of shame and condemnation on top of the original sin.

The sin represents a moment of failure for Christians. The weight comes after we commit the sin. Shame and condemnation follow the failure of sin. These are heavy weights to carry.

Added weight is a setup for failure for all runners. Extra weight is a detriment to winning a race and steals our endurance to run. Sin steals our enthusiasm and drains our endurance. Our endurance returns when we confess our sin. Confession accesses God’s forgiveness, and repentance brings refreshing.

God says to confess our sin and He will forgive us.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Forgiveness lightens the weight of sin. God offers more than forgiveness when we confess or repent. He cleanses us. This cleansing is the cleansing of the soul. We can say the cleansing removes the weight of sin from our soul.

The Finish Line

Every runner in a race knows the exact location of the finish line. Even when the finish line is not in their eyesight, their focus is on the finish point.

The believer in Christ also has a finish line. We finish our Christian race because Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. This means our race begins at salvation and ends when our time on earth is done—the finish line.

We start our race with Jesus and we end our race with the prize of heaven.

Jesus started it, and Jesus finished it.

“Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also. You know where I am going, and you know the way” (John 14:1-4).

Shame Conquered

Jesus despised the shame and endured the cross. Jesus endured as shame tried to get Him to stop running the race. Did Jesus model endurance for us? Yes.

Then Jesus ran toward the joy. Jesus also had a finish line: sitting at the right hand of God and dying for you and me. And removing our sin and shame.

The shame of sin is a heavy weight. Sin requires repentance. Repentance is a confession by a believer who has failed God. God forgives and removes the sin of those who repent. This is good news.

The grim news is that shame lingers.

Shame is a constant reminder that we fail God and fall short of His standard. The cross removed the penalty of sin and the power of shame. Jesus took “all shame” on the cross and all sin.

This was excruciating for Jesus to endure. We must remember Jesus took our sin and shame on the cross.

The cross is the power of God unto salvation, but it was not the finish line for Jesus. His finish line was sitting next to His Father and the joy set before Him. The joy that Jesus experienced was the joy of dying for you and me.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end.

The finish line for us is everlasting life.

That is our hope for you.

For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom. 10:13). {eoa}

Thomas McDaniels is a pastor/writer and the guy behind thomasmcdaniels.com. He has written for ChurchLeaders.com and currently is a contributing writer for Fox News. He is also the founder of LifeBridge.tv and the Longview Dream Center in Longview, Texas. Thomas can be found on social media, Instagram and Twitter.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]