Would you describe yourself as athletic? Personally, my athletic prowess and triumphs are distant memories. However, with great clarity, I recall the relentless physical and psychological discipline and training required to sustain the persevering resolve an athlete needs to pursue the prize.
Similarly, as Christ followers, we are spiritual athletes. We daily run a race in a fallen world and endure the intense onslaught of obstacles and offenses that conflict with our persevering resolve to win His prize.
In Hebrews 12, Paul equates physical athleticism with spiritual athleticism. Paul implores us to discard anything that deters us from effectively running the race. He reminds us that sin, which he intentionally identifies by name, easily entangles our resolve. However, Paul persuades us to persevere through sin’s enticement and entanglement so we can confidently run the race marked out for us. How? By fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Fixing our eyes on Jesus means we must intentionally and unwaveringly choose to prioritize God’s will and word in our daily lives and not allow sin to take control.
Do you desire to win the race? As believers and commissioned spiritual athletes, we need to daily assess our spiritual ability and embrace the disciplines that will strengthen our resolve to win His race. God is for us. He understands our daily struggles with the world and sin. When we faithfully fix our eyes on Jesus, He equips us to endure. He enables us to triumph. He empowers us to win.
Dear Heavenly Father and Lord, thank you for paying the price for my sin. Lord, help me to fix my eyes on you. Help me to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” and to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” – prioritizing your will and word in my daily life. Amen.
Go Deeper – In prayer, ask the Lord to help you identify any sin in your life that prevents or hinders your relationship with Him. Write it down. Then ask God to help you triumph and not become entangled by it anymore so you can run the race well.