Running the Race: Part 2

I have been studying Hebrews 12 recently  for a study I am doing with a group of high school students.  I have been using the illustration of a race as an example of how we are to live our lives as Christians.

Here is part 2 of that study.

Step 2: Size Up the Competition

Being a coach of our high school wrestling team, I have noticed one thing almost all my guys do.  They all size up their competition.  It’s amazing to watch our boys target their opponent from across the gym.  They pace back and forth like a lion awaiting their turn on the mat to demolish the competition.  While almost all my guys are trained to think in their head they will win, on some occasions their opponent will, what we call, “get into our head”.  What I mean is that the other guy has gotten to us before we even stepped foot in the ring.  They look stronger, faster, or quicker than we do.  They psyched us out mentally before we even got a chance.

The same thing happens in a race.  At the starting line we look at the other runners and size them up.  We ask ourselves “Is she better than I am?” or, “He looks fast, I bet He’s a lot quicker than I am.”  or, “I have no shot at beating these guys, I’m just to weak.” Oh, the lies of the devil.  What we must come to realize is that we all have a tendency to exaggerated how bad our problems are.  The enemy love to”get into our head”.

That is one we can not let happen.

The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 12 that before we overreact on how hard the race will be or how strong the competition is, we need to hold fast to two simple truths.

  1. We must choose to run the race with Christ instead of rejecting Him and avoiding it all together.
  2. We must not believe the lies that the competition is stronger than we are or let them “get into our head”.

The writer assures us that the race is worth running and the competition is not that bad.

Look at the passage.

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Jesus is our example to follow.  Don’t forget that.  We have to look to Him above everyone else because He endured everything that we do in life and then some.  Christ looked toward the finish line, saw that the big picture (us), and shed His blood on the cross for our sin.  He made it possible for us to have strengths and life in Him and Him alone.  We may sweat a little, go through some pain in life, or even think we can’t make it at times but none of us are at the point that Christ was when He shed His blood on the cross.  We can make it with Christ on our side.

Also,

We know that Jesus was opposed by sinful men, the Pharisees and His critics (or the competition as I call them), daily.  If Jesus can overcome those who oppose Him, we can do the same.  If we constantly look to Christ, we will not grow weary or fainthearted in our struggle with sin or sinful men because He has already overcame them.

Competition “out of my head”, let’s get this race started.  I’m ready to run.

Part 3 coming up.

-jordan

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