Ilagan Baptist Church       

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things That Hinder Our Spiritual Run

Text: Hebrews 12:1-2    IBCSWS   January 15, 2006

Preacher: Pastor Jose B. Cabajar

 

   Running a race is an exciting and rewarding activity every marathoner could experience in his lifetime. No doubt, avid lovers of running religiously devote their time in "Stoic-Spartan-like" manner of training in order to gain more speed and endurance in their running. From time to time, beginners and highly-developed runners desire to set a new personal best to give them a "feel-good-factor" as they pursue their long-range goal in life.

 

   Many people are not aware, but living in this present world is a lifetime run for everyone. Obviously, it's not a literal run, but a crucial run in the course of life. It's then a wise choice to run for a purpose in this earthly course. Man should not run in vain, but wisely and with a specific goal.            

 

   A well-lived life is liken to a marathoner's run: the runner enthusiastically waits for his second wind; sets a reasonable pace; runs with diligence and endurance; prepares his final sprint; crosses the finish line with tears of joy; and finally, wears his finisher's t-shirt with a smile.

 

   For Christians, God has prepared for them a more significant course to run and we call it "The Christian Race of Life."  In Hebrews 12:1, it is written, 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, (KJV) This motivating passage greatly encourages every believer to run the spiritual race. 

           

   As we realize the impressive training, preparation and the remarkable performance of the world class runners running and setting a new record, isn't it shameful for professing Christian to overlook the things that hinder his spiritual run? How much more if believers claim they are running for the glory of God?                    

 

                 (I) Our Excessive Weight

    Hebrews 12:1

    -Vain activities

      ...let us lay aside every weight

 

   In I Corinthians 6:12, it is written, All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (KJV) This verse reveals Paul's God-given wisdom in using his Christian liberty. Vain things are additional loads that hinder one's spiritual run. Vain things should have no place in the life of a spiritual Christian.      

 

   One thing we could learn from professional runners is their awareness of their diet and activity. They are very careful of their food intake and they have their own speed and endurance-producing training which is systematically designed for their awaited race. They strictly avoid weight-producing activity so that their desired speed during the race will not be hindered.

 

   In the Christian Race of Life, believers must be watchful of the things that could hinder his spiritual speed and endurance. Satisfying the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and embracing the pride of life, surely add weight and reduce the speed of the runner. The Word of God is the best food for a Christian runner.

 

                 (II) Our Sins

     Hebrews 12:1

     -Avoid enslaving sins

      ...and the sin which doth so easily beset us

 

   Unconfessed sin weakens the life of a Christian. It will greatly affect his spiritual growth and entrap him to unproductiveness. True believers must have a special love for the Word of God so he may avoid sin-related failures in life. In Psalm 119:11, it is written, Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (KJV) Love for the world makes a man offensive to God, but love for the Word makes a believer more than a world conqueror. Keep in mind that no Christian could run a good race except he confesses, forsakes his sins and keeps right with God.  

 

                 (III) Our Impatience

      Hebrews 12:1

      -We need an increase of patience

        ...let us run with patience

 

   Christian Race of Life is compared to a long distance race, and therefore, participants greatly need patience so they could stand the test of endurance until they reach the finish line. A man of patience is a potential winner, but an impatient man will hardly receive an outstanding reward.

 

                  (IV) Our Inattentiveness

      Hebrews 12:2

      -We need faith-triggered focus

 

   Right focus is the secret of right living, and without faith in Christ, no man could run the spiritual race the way God wants him to run it. In Hebrews 12:2, it is written, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (KJV) This life-inspiring verse encourages every believer to run with faith-energized strides so he could maintain a consistent pace until he reach the finish line.

 

      In Isaiah 40:29-31, it is written, He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (KJV)           

 

   As we run the spiritual race, may we not misplace our true priority and needed focus in life so we could run and glorify the Lord, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Don't be weary! Maintain your good pace! Keep on looking unto the Lord Jesus Christ and be an encouragement to others.

 

   

   

                  

 

 

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