Would you show up for a 100 meter dash wearing boots? Probably not. Yet Christians make two common mistakes about life. First, forgetting you are actually in a race, second, failure to be properly equipped for that race, or as Paul says:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV)
Anyone who even casually reads Paul’s letters notices one thing: he continually worried about running his race well. Paul managed to somehow stay singularly focused on the task at hand, and Paul’s to-do list only had one item: do what the Lord says.
With his focused personality, Pual could say in one of his last letters:
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)
That’s really the goal, isn’t it? Easy to say, hard to do. What issues have you put on your to-do list which have no eternal value? That doesn’t mean to ignore them, as sometimes those “one-off” activities are required for life.
But what weights are you carrying right now which limit your ability to run with maximum effort? Can those be put aside? Or perhaps not focused on as much?
Yet max effort does not mean never resting.
To enable you to fight your best, you must be able to rest … while working. No, that’s not an oxymoron, it is possible to rest while working, because rest does not imply cessation of activity.
Early in Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, he mentions three items which inhibit rest, and those three still cause trouble today. Thus, for the next few weeks we’ll touch on three reasons Christians don’t have the rest Paul speaks of in Hebrews.
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