How we can run our spiritual race

I am in-between ministry work and In-Camp Training during this part of the year. As I fold my “smart-4” (army uniform) and “kiwi” my boots, I recall the early days of full-time National Service. I remember vividly that we were once asked to bring back to camp, 6 tin cans fully filled with sand. These “sand cans” which were secured to our bodies (on our webbings) would then serve as dead weights as we ran the Standard Obstacle Course. You can imagine the damage those “sand cans” did to our bodies through those runs! They weighed us down, they slowed us down. Think of the pain, misery, confusion and fatigue they have caused us!

That is what sin does to us.

Sin weighs us down. Sin makes life miserable, it makes us want to quit.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Every disciple of Jesus is called to run a race. We run this race not to earn our salvation but to obtain that imperishable reward (1 Cor 9:25).

  • We do this by looking back to imitate the lives of faithful witnesses.

  • We do this by looking inward to untangle our hearts, to remove things that are dragging us down in our race. We are to do this with endurance.

  • We do this by looking upward to Jesus, who alone is our Security and Surety.

The moment i removed the “sand cans” to attempt the race again, i realised for the first time how fast I could run! I was more focussed and actually ran as “one who would get the prize” (1 Cor 9:24).

What weights are you carrying now that is wearing you down in your race today? What is your heart tangled with? Can you imagine what it would be like to run without any weight and sin?

Resolve today to lay aside every weight so you can begin to find delight in Jesus who is committed to help you finish your race.

Dn. Gideon Loh