“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1
We are going to learn how the Christian life is similar to running a marathon (26.2 miles/42 kilometers). It is a long race, not a sprint. It is a lifetime spiritual journey that is compared to a physical race.
First of all, are you aware that you are in the race? You are not in the stands watching. You were entered the moment you gave your life to Jesus Christ. You may not be doing well in the race because you did not know you were in it! The race is not just for the pastor, professional or paid staff. It is for all believers! There are NO spectators!
Our instruction for running a good race for God begins with the crowd. There is a crowd of spectators in heaven watching you. Jesus, the Father, Moses, Sarah, Abraham, Paul, David, Mary and thousands of others are watching you run this race. They are not watching passively. They know this is a matter of eternal consequences. Lives are in the balance. They are cheering for you! Jesus Christ is praying for you constantly! “He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
When I run a race it makes a huge difference to have people cheering for me! There are many times I have wanted to quit and someone on the sidelines has said an encouraging word, offered a cup of water or clapped. It is hard when you are alone. The crowd can play a significant role. In football they can be the 12th man, in basketball they can be the 6th player and in running they are your teammates! Know that you are not alone. God is with you all the time. (Hebrews 13:5,6) There are thousands encouraging you here and from heaven. Look up and see them cheering for you and you will keep running to win for Christ!