Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Spectator or Witness
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus...Consider him who endured such opposition...so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” Hebrews 12:1-3.
Last year my daughters convinced me to run (yeah right, I walked) in my first 5K. I didn’t know what to expect, and it was a very cold morning. When I arrived I noticed that they had marked off the course where we were restricted to run the race. I had worn a sweater which I knew would be cumbersome but I felt it was needed due to the temperature. As I participated many runners passed by me as they were running to the finish line. Once I warmed up I noticed that my sweater was making me uncomfortable, so I removed it and put it around my waist. It was much easier to move my arms as I walked. As I rounded the corner I saw that at the finish line were many runners who had crossed before I crossed. They didn’t even know me but were giving me the thumbs up and clapping their hands.
In reading this passage this morning I immediately thought about the 5K. I noticed how similar this passage is to my experience that day. I love how God’s word is relevant and breathes life and lessons into our lives. One principle I chiseled out this morning is the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who are witnesses to God’s faithfulness instead of just faith spectators. ‘The Greek word translated as witnesses means testifiers. They bear testimony to the power of faith and to God’s faithfulness.’ NIV Study Bible, p. 1910. We cannot stand on the sidelines and just watch others as they run their race. We need to have a faith race of our own to be able to encourage others on their journey. Another relic I attained this morning is the importance of staying within the boundaries of our lives where God has ordained. He has laid the ground tape in advance, and desires for us to stay within the boundaries for our own protection and guidance. We are encouraged and instructed to throw off every fear, doubt, weakness and sin that can become a hindrance in accomplishing the purpose for which He created us. We don’t have to search for a place to rest our focus since Jesus ran His race before us, and has shown us the way to go. His race was more difficult than any race that has been laid out before us. We must remember daily to invest in His faith story so we can live out our faith story as it unfolds.
When the race gets tough and the journey gets long, consider how Jesus suffered but overcame all of the obstacles so that we could receive the trophy.