Let us run this race, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured, disregarding the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2
There is only one way to successfully run this race to heaven, and that is by looking unto Jesus and absolutely nothing else. Hebrews 11:2 explains why we need to look squarely unto Christ.
Firstly, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith! Jesus is the one who will determine our entire journey and final destination. So we had better give Him our entire attention and see what He is up to. Secondly and most importantly we look unto Jesus because He has already successfully ran this same race before. He is to us an “example” (John 13:15), we ought to scrupulously follow in His steps if we must succeed. If we can be like Him, we will surely be with Him.
Now concerning endurance, what kept Jesus going all the way was because of the joy that was set before Him. He disregarded the shame and focused solely on His glorious reward. Likewise we should run in expectance of our reward of eternal life. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24: “Do you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize”.
Looking unto anyone but Jesus is dangerous, that is “idolizing” fellow Christians like us. Why look unto people who have not made it yet? It might not be easy to tell if they are still facing the right direction, and even if they appear to, they might actually be backsliding.
For example: We might find ourselves running beside a fellow Kingdom minded person who seems to have everything we ever wanted in excess. He might have the best clothes and shoes on, with a ton of cash in his pockets. He might also be loved and cheered by those facing both directions and even sometimes engage in some of the activities the backward racers do. He might just seem to thoroughly enjoy life while you run your race with all lowliness and modesty. But “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” – Luke 12:15
The truth is that the weight he is carrying might continually slow him down until he finally grinds to a stop if he doesn’t discard it, and the crowd cheering him will only distract him. Rather than envy this distracted racer, be like Moses and “chose rather to suffer with God’s people than to enjoy pleasures for a season”.
Do not be weary, remember that “It is God that girds you with strength” and “makes your feet like the feet of a dear”. He has even “enlarged your steps under you so that your feet will not slip”. “You will not dash your foot against a stone”. Only look unto Jesus. Try not to look back, as looking back only makes you see all the fun the backward racers are having and will make you want to join them (Hebrews 11:15).
Finally, in this race there is no stopping, which is why a quick dash was discouraged at the beginning. When one is stagnant he starts to get hit by traffic from both sides. That is, from those catching up behind you and those backsliding towards hell. After multiple hits a person is bound to fall. Falling is only tolerated if one picks themselves back up quickly. As Proverbs 24:16 says, “Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again”. Those who are neither going nor coming, the lukewarm, are quickly rejected by God and picked up by the enemy. Hence stagnation leads to a fall, and stagnation after a fall leads to backwardness.
Whether we realize it or not every human is running their own race and heading for either heaven or hell. Where are you headed? Do not leave it to chance, but place your eternity in Jesus Christ who will determine the eventual outcome of everyone’s life. Visit the Salvation Page straightaway.