I like Nascar races, I admit it. For 3 hours or so you sit on the couch eating special Sunday snacks and enjoying the crashes, the near misses and the drama of the arguments. An anticipation builds as the last 30 or so laps come around. Something in the air changes. The closer to the end, the more exciting it gets. Strategies become clear; skill and endurance become paramount. By the time the final lap comes around, the fans are on their feet. All the spectators are caught up in the exhilaration, thousand are screaming and holding their breath at the same time.
So it is with us. In Hebrews we are encouraged to run with endurance the race set before us. It’s the last lap, the great cloud of witnesses is on its feet cheering with expectation of victory. The atmosphere is electric with anticipation.
Endurance. How do we maintain that? We must renew our spiritual vitality. Look at Hebrews 12:12-15.
12. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down and the feeble knees, 13. and make straight paths for your feet so that what is lame may not be dislocated but rather be healed. 14. Pursue peace with all people and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord; 15. looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
The instructions are clear. YOU are to strengthen yourself with the Word of God. Refresh yourself in His grace and mercy. Encourage yourself by remembering what God has done in the past and what He has promised to do in you. You know the perfect character of God, you know He never leaves you nor forsakes you. He is the author and finisher of your faith. Look to Him as you breathe in that second wind of the Spirit. You know this is a joint effort with Jesus. His word, His breath strengthens you. It’s intimate and empowering. For He knows the plans He has for you. You only need to stand up, seek Him carefully and run forward, denying offense to cloud your view.
You see, you are not alone. This is a global race. Every member of the Body of Christ has an important role to play, a perfect piece of the plan. With every one of us seeking God and running with endurance, we partner with him for the great final victory. Be encouaged! Pray and go forward with what He’s whispered in your ear. Look up to the cheering crowd of witnesses who have done their part and are now partnering with you for yours. The crashes are over, the smell of victory is coming!
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make YOU complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 1:20-21.