Over the last month or so I have been reading in Hebrews. I read through all 12 chapters, and then I went back and re-read all of it more slowly because I felt like I missed some things that I needed to really understand. Today I finished reading about all the men and women of great faith in Chapter 11. As I moved on to begin reading chapter 12, I couldn’t get past the first two verses:
Hebrews 12:1-2– “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, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
I have been asking the Lord what my next post should be, and as soon as I read this scripture, I recalled a dream I had a few months ago. I looked through my journal and found the dream I had on November 24, 2018. In the dream, I was in a gym running a race with a group of young ladies. There were four cones set up around the perimeter of the gym floor, and we were running around them.
As we were running, I kept seeing out of the corner of my eye a young girl in a baby blue jersey with a long ponytail. She was cutting corners. She would look side-to-side to see if anyone was looking and then would cut the corner to get ahead in the race. She did it twice, and I got more and more irritated each time. I knew the end of the race was nearing when I saw her do it again. I lost it! I was yelling and pointing at her saying that she was cutting the corners and cheating. I could barely keep running because I was so angry. Nobody was paying any attention to me as I threw a fit about it.
I was furious, and I didn’t know what to do! Right then I heard a voice behind me. I perceived it was the voice of the Holy Spirit. He said, “Stop worrying about her, and run your own race.”
I looked up to see I was near the end of the race. I focused all my energy forward and ran as hard as I could. I won the race!
When I woke up, I was perplexed. I remember praying about the dream and asking the Lord why nobody seemed to care about the girl cheating. The verses in Hebrews 12 immediately came to me. It wasn’t my place to worry about the cheating girl, but I was to focus on what I was there to do. I have done this many times in life. I’ll be so worried about what everyone else is doing that I get distracted and forget what I am called to do. These distractions become weights and sins that easily get us off track, which is an attack from the enemy to try and stop us from running the race God assigned us to. Would Jesus have been able to endure the cross had he been distracted by how other were falsely accusing, mocking, and ridiculing Him?
Verse 2 says that we are to look to Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. When we look to Him, we are not so easily distracted because not only is our focus in the right direction, but I think we can more readily accept His grace to run with diligence and focus. He set the ultimate example by enduring the cross because He knew why the Father had sent him to the earth. He knew His race and He finished it!
Just yesterday, I was helping my husband fill up his daily vitamin container. When we finished filling the container, I went to put the lid back on, but he said he wanted to do that. He said, “I started this project, and I would like to end it. When you help someone who starts a project, you should always let them finish it because it’s theirs–not yours.” A few seconds passed in silence as if we both recognized that was the Holy Spirit speaking, and then my husband says, “Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He started it, and He will finish it without our help!”
He said that yesterday, and then I wake up to this scripture today–confirmation! I love how God confirms Himself! I pray that all of God’s children will hear from heaven to know what their race is and learn to recognize the distractions that the enemy uses to interrupt their focus. Let’s all keep our eyes on Jesus and run our own race!