Ezra 10:4 “Arise, for this matter is your responsibility. We also are with you. Be of good courage, and do it.“
In 1980, with one leg having been amputated because of cancer, a determined young man named Terry Fox embarked on a cross-Canada run ( Marathon of Hope) to raise money and awareness for cancer research. He planned to run 26 miles each day but because of severe headaches, snow and icy conditions, after a month he’d only managed to struggle through about 8 miles a day. So why did he keep running? Because the purpose in his heart was stronger than the pain in his body. He was committed!! The spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 3,339 miles. This race ultimately cost him his life, however, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. In 1981 was the first Terry Fox Run, with 60 countries participating. This event, to date, has raised over $ 500,000,000 for cancer research.
Commitment is a willingness to do whatever it takes; it’s a promise to yourself, from which you refuse to back down.
In the first epistle to the church at Corinth Paul writes in chapter 9: 24-27:
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
- 9:24 Know ye not that – In those famous games which are kept at the isthmus, near your city, they who all run in the foot race, though but one receives the prize. How much greater encouragement have you to run; since you may all receive the prize of your high calling?!
- 9:25 And every one that runs in this race is temperate in all things. To an almost incredible degree; using the most rigorous self denial in food, sleep, and every other sensual indulgence; much like the illustration of Terry Fox. A corruptible crown – which was only a garland of leaves, that would soon wither. But we for an imperishable crown— and eternal crown of glory with our God in His Heaven!
- 9:26 Therefore I run not with uncertainly – I look straight to the goal; I run straight toward it. I cast away every weight, regard not any that stand by. I fight not as one that beats the air – This is a proverbial expression for a man’s missing his blow, he uses up his strength not on his enemy, but on empty air.
- 9:27 But I discipline my body – By denial of the lusts of the flesh. And bring it into subjection – To my spirit and to God. The words are strongly figurative, and signify the mortification of the body of sin, by an allusion to the natural bodies of those who were bruised or subdued in combat. Lest by any means after having preached – The Greek word means, after having discharged the office of an herald, whose office it was to proclaim the conditions, and to display the prizes. I myself should be disqualified – Disapproved by the Judge, and so falling short of the prize. Believers in general are elected to enjoy the Christian privileges on earth; which if they abuse, those very elect persons will become disqualified (reprobate.) The Apostle Paul was certainly an elect person, if ever there was one; and yet he declares it was possible he himself might become disqualified. Actually he would have become such, if he had not thus kept his body, mind and soul under true servanthood to our Lord Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.
Other verses for reference:
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, 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. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
My prayer and desire is that each of us win that crown, that none be disqualified because of slackness. Blessings fellow Christian bloggers!
4 thoughts on “Running The Endurance Race”
There is no doubt whatsoever, as the Scriptures you have quoted prove, that God requires effort, discipline and more than anything, complete dedication and commitment to ‘running the race’.
Quite often we are surprised (and challenged) by the extraordinary lengths some people go in pursuit of their hobbies, sports or secular interests. Some devote their whole lives to a ’cause’.
I am not saying they are wrong, but what does it say to Christians? WE have every reason to be devoted, dedicated and committed. WE have everything we need supplied to us for the asking. WE have enormous power and enabling and encouragement. WE have the greatest rewards imaginable! – and yet we hang back.
It is past time for Christians to stand firm, to take the Sword of the Spirit and to let the world see the living triune God. Time is running out!
We are one day closer!
AMEN!! Thank you for your comment Angela. You hit the nail on the head! It is about time Christians stop worrying about worldly cultural normal and ARMOR UP!!
I remember the wonderful old hymn ” Onward Christian soldiers marching off to war…”
Now is the time!
Waiting and watching with my lamp trimmed!
This is a great post, and one worthy of a much wider readership. So glad and so proud of you my sister-in-Christ for the work of Our Mighty and Eternal God through your life. What a Mighty God He is. Glory to His name!
AMEN! Glory to His name both now and forever!