“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
During the month of October, I’d like to share with you a devotional thought each week from a different section of these verses.
It’s easy to get distracted as you run a race. Sometime the course isn’t clear, and you may even get lost. When I was a Boy Scout, I did several orienteering courses (finding your way with a map and compass). After you take your bearing, you need to find a fixed point directly in line with your compass reading, and go towards it, without losing your focus.
As Christians, we fix our eyes on Jesus and run towards Him, because He has already shown us the way. He is the “founder” of our faith. This word can also mean “pioneer” or “trailblazer.” He’s the one who goes first and shows us the way. The way is not easy. It was not an easy road for Jesus as He went to the cross. There are times that we don’t want to look at Jesus, because we don’t like to see His suffering and know that we will have to suffer, too, if we follow Him.
Jesus is also the perfecter, the finisher of our faith. This is the same word that Jesus spoke while He was dying, “It is finished.” Jesus is the one who brings us to the finish line, the goal that we are pressing towards. Even though the road leads to suffering, it will lead through suffering to the joy of everlasting life.
As you are running, don’t get distracted by looking at yourself. As you look to yourself you will only see your weakness and your faults. You might get so wrapped up in yourself that you even stop running and decide to quit the race.
As you are running, don’t get distracted by other people. There are many people out there who will lead you astray and off course.
As you are running, fix your eyes on Jesus. Listen to Him and meditate on His word. He has gone before you and He will lead you to the finish line, the goal of your faith.
O Holy Spirit, strengthen my faith to always fix my eyes on Jesus. Keep me from being distracted and led astray, and lead me in the path that leads to eternal life, for You live and reign with the Father and the Son, one God, now and forever. Amen