Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Heb. 12:1)

Pizza is delicious but not good for a runner preparing for a cross country meet. Jeans are comfort but not appropriate for someone getting ready for a spring. And binge watching television all night may be relaxing but not for a registered participant in a marathon. The sport of running—whether cross country, track, or a marathon—is a good illustration for Christian perseverance. Special exercises, specific shoes, a particular diet, and appropriate clothing are all required to maximize running speed and efficiency in the race in order to win.

Chapter 12 in Hebrews was written to encourage the Hebrew Christians to persevere despite discouragement and persecution. He tells them to get rid of obstacles and sin that might get in the way of their individual race. The analogy used is of an athlete who would get down to the bare minimum. Sometimes that’s losing extra weight through strict training or removing clothes that restrict race performance.

What’s keeping you from winning your race? What’s keeping you from persevering? When identified, do not neatly fold it and lay it aside. Toss it! Break loose! Shake it off! Cast it away now, or it will stop your race dead in its tracks. This kind of impediment is designed to slow us down, keep us ineffective, and out of the race. Lord, open our eyes to see what needs to go.

By the Holy Spirit, identify hindrances, shed them, and keep running.

Ladrienne Cage McFarland enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, VBS, crafting, and studying God’s word.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.