" If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have
thee, how canst thou contend with horses?
The Christian life is compared to a 'race' in Scripture.
Paul tells us
in 1 Corinthians 9:24 to run in such a way that we may
obtain the prize.
Athletes that compete in worldly races do everything in
to ensure victory. They spend years training, getting
and bodies into shape, so they can perform to the best
ability. They eat, drink, sleep, and live their chosen
They exercise incredible restraint, enduring endless
rigorous training. Their competition is the ultimate
in discipline and endurance.
Athletes do not carry 'excess baggage.' They travel
They lay aside every thing that would in any way hinder,
disqualify or prevent them from attaining their goal.
We, as Christian in a race, have a goal to attain. In
race we must not let anything hinder or affect the
our race. Paul says in 1Corinthians 9:26: I run, not as
uncertainly: so fight I not as one that beateth the
The Olympic hopefuls knew what they had to do in order
to win the prize, Paul knew, and we know, for the course
for our race is charted in God's rule book, the Bible.
"Ye did run well. Who did hinder you? The word
'hinder' in this verse speaking of the progress in the
Christian life. Virtually meaning:
"Who broke up the road along which you were
Paul and the athletes, recognized there was a 'fight'
involved in the process of running a race and crossing
the finish line a winner.
Hebrews 12:1 tells us to "lay aside every weight and the
sin that besets us." To do so, we must first identify
recognize them for what they are. Hindrances are as
individual as the person. A 'weight' is a hindrance;
that would slow us down or get in the way of our
The 'sin' is a specific disobedience, a prevailing sin
need to get the victory over. The weights and sins that
beset us have to be cast off, and forsaken. The flesh
demands it's own way has to be kept in subjection.
The word "beset" in the Greek means to: "stand
around in a competition, to thwart a racer in every
A race horse is a good example of strength, power and
endurance in running a race. Sleek and powerful, they
intent on reaching the finish line, looking neither to
the right or the left, but straight ahead.
As Christians in the race that God has set before us,
goal is to reach the finish line. To do this, we must
eyes on Jesus, looking neither right or left, and
(speeding earnestly, pursuing) towards the goal.
Our course is mapped out and at times we will be
running in adverse conditions. Our course will involve,
jumping hurdles thrown into our way by the enemy,
and valleys. Our enemy is
continuously trying to block our progress at every
turn. He is intent on our defeat and ultimate
There is 'enduring' to be done on our race track, and
motivation is Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our
The One that endured the cross live in us so that we can
endure. If we fall or get 'off track' Jesus is there to
up and get us back on course. God tells us in:
" Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed for
I am with thee, yea; I will uphold thee with the right
of my righteousness."
Running our race successfully and enduring involves
encouragement from others. We are "compassed
by a great cloud of witnesses." We are instructed to
others who have made it, who have finished their course.
Running our race also involves encouragement from each
other. We are fellow-runners in the race, and as such,
should be able to depend on each other for strength and
When we are weak, God has promised in
"They that wait (hope in) 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."
The word 'renew' in this verse meaning:
"To exchange our strength for His."
Then, like the powerful race horse, keeping our eyes on
the finish line, we will complete our course. We know
that Jesus is waiting for us at the finish line.
We will be able to say, like the Apostle Paul...
" I have finished my course!"