Midweek is here! For those of you who attend a Wednesday evening service, I pray you have an encounter with the Lord. At Ottawa, we are beginning our midweek services in September. I am looking forward to meeting up with my church family a second time during the week (other than Sunday). Today we are going to look at:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Admittedly, I am not much of a runner (not to overstate the obvious or anything :). However, my wife (Laura) was a very accomplished long-distance runner. She was given a full-ride scholarship to Southern Illinois University, based upon her running acumen. After she graduated SIU, she got a job teaching at a public high school. For the first few years of teaching, Laura was the track coach for the long distance runners. She could tell you stories about the hard work and dedication of her fellow runners in high school and in college. I bring this up because in this passage, the author reminds the followers of Christ to not give up...to keep running the race.
Our walk with the Lord is not a sprint, it is more akin to a long distance marathon. Imagine if a marathon runner started a long race with a 5lb weight attached to each ankle. At the start of the race, the person might not notice too much-but as the race moves on, those 5lb weights would become very noticeable. Then, imagine the runner takes those weights off half way through the race. Do you think the runner will notice an immediate difference? Absolutely!
Our relationship with the Lord is similar. We are trying to live for the Lord, but we notice that we have a had habit or a personality issue that is starting to weigh us down. We decide to unburden ourselves, and give that weight to the Lord. We are no longer encumbered by that weight...so our journey just got much easier. Each of us are running with unnecessary entanglements and weights...we must lay them aside to continue our race to the finish line.