Keep Going

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is often called the “Hall of Faith”.

It tells the stories of those who served God with great passion and unflinching faithfulness through the toughest of times.

They suffered, risked, obeyed and trusted God to do what only He can do.

This verse says that the way they lived their lives, and seeing how they trusted God, is like having a great grandstand of people cheering you on as you follow Jesus.

What are they telling you? 

They are telling you to throw off everything that hinders and run the race God has called you to run.

Not your mom’s race or your neighbor’s faith race but your faith race. 

They are telling you to keep focused on the finish line and lay down whatever is weighing you down from getting there: other people’s opinions, irrational fears,  fear-laden doubts, time-wasting worries. 

They know that a life of faith isn’t easy and that the only way you can do it is by keeping your eyes on Jesus.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, my friend, take a deep breath and run your race. 

Buckle Up

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“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”
Psalm 33:20 NIV

The Hebrew word used for “wait” in Psalms 33:20 implies being tied to or binding yourself to something.

For me, the picture of a seatbelt comes to mind.

When I was a teenager, I went to the movies with a friend. I met him at his house, climbed into his truck and buckled myself in. We drove down the street and then he stopped. He checked my seatbelt, put his truck in four-wheel drive and turned toward the ravine. He told me that we were going to take a shortcut and we were going to go off-roading. I was excited and slightly terrified but up for the adventure so I said, “Let’s go for it!”  I have never appreciated a seatbelt more. It held me in my seat on the sharp inclines and steep declines, over the rocky bumps and through the unlevel dry river beds. We arrived at the theater with plenty of time, although I remember the journey there more than the movie we went to.

Following Jesus is more like off-roading than driving on the freeway. He takes you to new places, asks you to grow out of your comfort zones and challenges you to take the road not traveled.

Like when Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the stormy sea in Matthew 14:29-30:

““Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:29-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I read this line today in the devotional Streams of the Desert”:

“Once he had stepped out of the boat, the waves were none of his business”.

Peter’s job wasn’t to walk on water but it was to keep his eyes on Jesus.

Your job isn’t to worry how you will get where you need to be, your job is to buckle up your faith to Jesus and hold on for the adventure of a lifetime.