By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
From the day you decide to follow Christ to the day you see Him face to face, you are running a spiritual marathon. However, many think the Christian race is a sprint, attending as many Bible studies and church activities as they possibly can until they are spiritually exhausted. Others become so discouraged by their own spiritual baggage—the heavy weight of anxiety, unforgiveness, shame, or selfishness—that they become discouraged or spiritually lazy, afraid of the work it might take to get to the finish line.
How can we remove every hindrance in our race of faith and finish strong for Christ? In Hebrews 12:1-2, we find the key: “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
Jesus Christ Himself is our greatest motivation for finishing the long marathon. During His life on earth He endured opposition, ridicule, scorn, blasphemy, torture, and betrayal. Yet Jesus endured because He was motivated by the glory that was awaiting Him. Jesus is our prize. He is the motivation we need to keep running, persevering, and moving forward. He is the One who will be standing at the finish line waiting for us.
Anxiety, unforgiveness, unconfessed sin, and doubt are all obstacles that can weigh us down and grind our race to a halt. But through the empowerment of God’s own Spirit, we can fix our eyes on Jesus, throw off everything that hinders, cling to the Truth, and press on.
Is there anything holding you back from running the race with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? If there is a hindrance in your path, lay it before the throne of God. If you are discouraged or weary, wondering if you will be able to cross the finish line, remember Jesus. If you are feeling weak, tired, or unmotivated, fix your eyes on Christ. He alone is worthy of your endurance, and He alone has all power in heaven and earth to pick you up, brush you off, and get you back in the race.
Prayer: Lord, I lay these hindrances at Your feet knowing that I cannot run this race on my own. I need Your Spirit. Help me to fix my eyes on You and to overcome every hindrance that stands in my way. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1).