A Race Is Set Before Us

From time-to-time I pick up Aryana, my eight year old granddaughter, from school. Each time I ask her, “What did you learn today?” She will think for a few seconds and then tell me something that she learned. She is eager to learn and is very intelligent for her age. She is very much involved in our church. She sings, testifies, seeks prayer for her friends in need, and participates in Bible class. She is very thoughtful, kind, and helpful. I could go on and on, but I think this is enough to get my point across.

We, too, should ask ourselves at the end of the day, “What have I learned today?” If we cannot come up with something, we should remember that each day is given to us as a learning experience, an opportunity to grow. We are in a race to reach full maturity and there is a biological time clock that is ticking away our time.

Only the supernatural powers of our Creator can extend the time on our clocks, and the way he does it is revealed in these two scriptures:  “For the law of the Spirit of life in the Anointed SAVIOR has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6).

There is more to life than just existing. None of us plot to be among the living dead. But then, on the other hand, some of us fail to plot to be made alive by the Anointing.

We should spend time every day searching for truth, for better understanding, and to become spiritually stronger.

I realize that Aryana is at school for seven hours and probably has five different classes to learn from. At that, we would hope she could learn more than one new truth every day. But we should be able to learn something new every day. If we don’t, then we might consider our priorities and think about where we will be twenty years from now. I am sure Aryana will be outgrowing some Christians if they do not press on. Some Christians are like the hare in the fable “The Tortoise and the Hare”— they think they have plenty of time, and before they know it opportunities and time have expired.

No matter how slow the process may seem, we need to “press” toward the mark for the prize of the high calling (Philippians 3:14).

Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

We could translate the above scripture as, There is help to win this race all around us, so let us resist the many distractions and the habits that so easily take up our time. Let us run with patience the race to full maturity in this life. Let us take advantage of the time and opportunities that we have to learn truth and then put it into action.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway [a reject]” (1 Cor. 9:24-27).

We can learn by just looking around us; by taking the time to really see the poverty within the minds of so many people. If we look, we will see the chaos and sorrow that is produced from their spiritual conditions. We can see children suffering from the corrupt images they are entertained by. We can hear and see the fear that haunts the children as they try to survive the day without their parents’ comforting love. I see more children than not who are being pulled between parents with mental and spiritual battles without the armor of the Lord to conquer them. Many of them don’t even recognize that they are in a spiritual battle, because they have become so accustomed to corruption.

Each measure of knowledge, whether learned through experience or shared, opens new doors to us all. Every truth given in wisdom and every ounce of energy put into the furtherance of the Kingdom of Righteousness brings someone that much closer to maturity, to the place where they can experience peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

We truly can be a great cloud of witnesses within our communities, our churches, and our workplaces. “He that believes on me [the Anointed Word], as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). These rivers nourish the runners. All we have to do is to be thirsty for the Spirit of Righteousness and we will be like magnets pulling together and adhering to the Holy Spirit.

If we dedicate ourselves to the training, we will have this same testimony: “And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily” (Acts 16:5).

Being dedicated to righteousness should cover the whole of our day; our work, our entertainment, our fellowship, as well as our time alone with the Lord.

Paul said , “You yourselves know that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me” (Acts 20:34). Here we find Paul doing manual labor, not only to support himself but to help those who traveled with him, yet he recognized it as a part of his witness of the Lord.

We can learn from the instructions given to the believers in First Peter 1:13-16 saying “Wherefore gird up the loins [that which has procreative power] of your mind, be sober [cautious], and hope to the end [of the race] for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of the Anointed Savior [the Anointed Word]; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”