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.
Hurry up. Make it quick. Cut in line. Do it now. See the prize? Go for it. Immediacy is the name of Satan's game. On his terms, life is a series of temptations and acquisitions. The temptations? Tricks and treats. The acquisitions? Prizes and position. His players are sprinters.
Or... persevere. Get in shape. Shed the stuff. Wait on God. See the Prize? Go for Him. Eternity is the name of God's game. On His terms, life is a series of trials and victories. The trials? Oppressors and obstacles. The victories? Peace and provision. His players are marathoners.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Slow and steady wins this race, so 'Run in such a way that you may win' (1 Corinthians 9:24), 'Reaching forward to what lies ahead... press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 3:13-14).
What is the call? Your Great Commission. What is the race? Your life on earth. What is the field? Entertainment. What is the goal? Representing Christ. What are the stakes? The lives of others. What is the finish line? This life's conclusion. What is the prize? Eternity in Heaven.
The Apostle Paul put it this way: 'I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the Good News of God's grace' (Acts 20:24).
Therefore, if anyone or anything pushes you to a short sprint, fast buy or quick conclusion, push back. Because 'The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong' (Ecclesiastes 9:11).
Instead, the real winners rely on God. They neither burn out nor quit, but stay in it to win it: 'Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength... They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint' (Isaiah 40:31). Because He is their Power Source.
When Paul approached earth's finish line, He said, 'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith' (2 Timothy 4:7). So consider this two-step action plan: 1) Look like Jesus; 2) Run like Paul.
Jesus is the Total Package, but Paul was a world-changing marathoner. He went the distance.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Dream Haters series.