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RUN THE RACE

First Published May 28 1978

Hebrews 12:1: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."

The original was not divided into chapters, so you have to keep in mind the chapter before this in order to know what "great cloud of witnesses" he's talking about.--All the saints who have already gone on to be with the Lord. They are not only watching us, they're praying for us.

They are all praying for us and they're all watching us, and every now and then God sends one of them down to give us a hand if we need some extra help. They are like our cheering section on the Heavenly bleachers cheering for the team, and when you win a battle they really cheer and rejoice.

Think how wonderful it is that there are millions up there, all watching and praying for you, and lots of them coming down to help you. This is really where the action is, where the big test is going on. Once you get over there, well, there is more in store for you, but this is the primary test. This is what the whole universe is watching, the Big Game! So since they are all watching us, what should we do?

"Let us lay aside every weight." What are the weights?--The things that slow you down, the things that hinder you from getting the job done. Well, sometimes the Lord allows those weights for awhile as sort of a test. In the old days runners used to train wearing weights, building up their muscles, so that when they took the weights off they could just almost fly.

Sometimes the Lord allows a few weights to strengthen your spiritual muscles and to test you and to strengthen you spiritually. But when the weights have served their purpose, then it's time to lay them aside and run the race.

"And the sin which doth so easily beset us". What is sin? It is missing the mark. Not shooting straight, not really doing the most important thing God wants you to do, which is to hit the bull's eye of His will. So, "let us lay aside the weights and the sins"--anything that keeps you from doing God's highest and His best, that keeps you from being in the center of His will.

After laying aside all these weights and distractions and sins, what are we supposed to do?--"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us!" In other words, you have do God's will, do God's work. As long as you are doing His job and doing His will, it's work and you're running.

You can only "run with patience" if you have faith and are trusting the Lord. If you didn't have patience, you would get fed up, wouldn't you? "I'm tired of doing all this hard work for people who never thank me and don't appreciate me and don't realise what a hard job this is!" If you didn't have patience, you couldn't do it. "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9)

It's a race in which some are going to win more than others. Some are going to receive greater rewards than others. I think some of the little people who do the most unseen jobs are perhaps going to get rewarded the most one of these days. They're the ones who are going to step out and get the medals and the rewards and the crowns, and for the first time really get what is coming to them, and the whole universe is going to know.

So we are to run with patience the race that is set before us, the real work, which is out in the World or wherever God has called us. And the only way we can really run this race is by doing what, "Looking unto Jesus!" (Hebrews 12:2) That's the only way you can have the patience. So keep your eyes on Jesus, "the Author and Finisher of our faith."

David Berg

Edited by Almondtree Productions