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Focusing On The Finish!

Focusing On The Finish!

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, Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

I remember once racing my bike in the deserts of Nevada back in 1983.  The race was called, The Frontier 500, and I was teamed up with a couple of my racing friends.  It started in Las Vegas and went to Reno, Nevada, and it was an extremely grueling event.  I remember getting to the starting line early in the morning and getting on the bike and as the race started, it was going to be full throttle and wide open until the finish.  

This course was comprised of the roughest racing terrain I had ever competed in, and it seem as if the competitors were destroying their vehicles with each passing mile.  Large rocks and silt beds were the norm.   And just to make it through various parts of the racecourse was quite the challenge at times.  We had been pushing really hard all day, and as a result we were way ahead of the competition by about 2 hours.  

As the evening set in, there wasn't much left of this race for us except for about 75-miles of fire roads and the worst of the harsh terrain was over.   We were sitting at the last pit when we heard the report of bike number 73 being out of the race.  Our breath was taken away as the report was confirmed.  It seems that our bike had broke into two pieces and my partner Ken had broken his shoulder in the accident.  

Just like that, it was over.  Ken had relaxed a bit, and let his guard down and he had gotten cross-rutted on a large rain rut and had flipped the bike. We realized later that we had pushed the bike too hard earlier in the race and had just fatigued it to the point of failure.  There had been a crack in the frame because of the abuse we had endured and the accident in the rut simply broke the frame all the way.   

I've seen many people experience the same thing in their Christian walk.  They started out doing very well, seeking the Lord, running full out, and seemingly having everything in control, and then suddenly they break down. There are a multitude of reasons that can cause this can happen.  It can be purely from the fact that they weren't seeking God's will for the things they were doing in their life, therefore they wouldn't have had the power of the Holy Spirit to help them.  That would mean that everything they were doing was in their own power and ability.  Eventually every one of us will fail when attempting to live a Christian walk in the limited power of our flesh.  Just like our bike, the body will usually fail at some point and leave you broken down.

Another reason that we can fail is that we get caught up in the things of this world.  Our needs, wants, desires, possessions, cares, pleasures, worries and just about anything that you can imagine can seem so important that we take our eyes off our eternal goals.  When this happens, we can get entangled in the ruts of life, much like our race bike did, and the next thing you know, your marriage, job, and Christian walk are broken.  

One of the greatest lessons I have learned through my racing endeavors is that you can't finish first, if you don't first finish.  And this holds true for the race that Paul says each of us will face in our life as a Christian.  Let me be perfectly clear on this one point.  Every one who finishes will receive the prize of a winner!  

So finishing is the goal, and we should do our very best to finish well.  We must not just come out of the gates well, but we need to run at a pace that is set by the Lord.  And that pace will be exactly perfect as He guides us to, and through, each obstacle in the course of life

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: Hebrews 10:36 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you today, keep your eyes on the prize that God has promised you.  It is more valuable than anything that this world can offer.  Don't let the things of this world distract you from what God has called you to do.  Keep talking to Him and asking Him what He wants for you to do each day.  Then just be faithful to do the best that you can in each situation.  God won't call you to do something that He won't equip you to handle.  He might have you walk a few steps in faith at first, but He will give what you need for every task

Just be faithful and trust in Him.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about running and finishing the race set before us by our Lord according to the scriptures in this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you running the race that the Lord has set before you?  Are you being distracted by the cares and worries of this world?

APPLICATION: Stay focused by staying in the Word each and every day.  Keep praying to the Lord to reveal to you all that He has for you to know.  Ask Him to open your eyes to the opportunities for serving others in the Kingdom of God.

Father, Thank You for Your love, grace, guidance and mercy.  Help me to see the opportunities that You have laid before me today.  Give me the ability and the energy to complete everything that You have given me to do.  Give me the discernment to know what You have called for me, and what you have not.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000