December 7 - A Long, Deliberate Race
Where it says in Hebrews 12:1 to “lay aside every weight,” we must think in terms of this race. The runner empties his pockets and wears the lightest, most flexible clothing he can; he does not carry a single unnecessary ounce of weight. Some things that aren’t exactly sins still act as weights that can burden us and hold us back. They exhaust our strength or lure us into spending too much time and attention on them.
Remember, this is not a short sprint—it is a long, deliberate race. The primary characteristic that is required is endurance. Many people start off the Christian life as if it were a dash. A little while later, they are panting beside the track; they are finished, and they have hardly begun the race. Ecclesiastes 9:11 wisely points out, “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.”
The following is the testimony of a victor—the apostle Paul:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
(2 Timothy 4:7–8 NASB)
Paul knew that he had won the race. He had finished the course, and he knew that the prize was waiting for him. That is a glorious testimony. It can be the testimony of you and me, too, if we will only meet the conditions.
It isn’t speed or strength but endurance that counts.