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To run the race means that you keep going forward in spreading the Gospel and learning true intimacy with God despite the obstacles that would try to stop you. Paul is comparing our faith journey to a physical race, in racing scriptures.
A couple of months ago I began to train for an upcoming half marathon. I began to train every Saturday, and became involved in any 5k race available. As I was running, God began to speak to me in such a clear manner with steps to finish the race strong.
1. You Have To Train And Practice for The Big Day!
One Saturday, as I was running my usual six mile run, I could not help but think about what Paul said about our Christian run in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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”.
As I contemplated the verse in my mind, I pondered, What are you trying to tell me Lord? The similarities between my long distance run and our Christian run became evident.
2. Remove Extra Weight That Will Make You Slow Down!
While I was running and the sun began to beam on me, my immediate thought was, I am glad I am not carrying extra unnecessary weight or baggage. In our Christian run, when the Sun (Jesus) begins to beam on us we begin to notice all the extra baggage in our lives. The closer you get to the light, the more you will be exposed. To be exposed is a great thing, but many times the enemy tries to bring shame, causing us to run back to darkness and hide. When the sun beams, it is time to let go of hidden sin and unhealed pain that can hinder the continuance of the run ahead.
3. You Have To Push Pass The Pain!
There is a part of the run that gets really hard. If you have experience with running, you know that when it gets challenging and you push through eventually your endorphins will kick in and your body then goes into autopilot (your adrenaline rush becomes evident and you are no longer tired). This part of the run can resemble the wilderness season with God.
If you’ve had a relationship with God for some time you know that the wilderness (a season where life gets hard and you may feel stuck) will not last forever. Wilderness does not mean that God is far away, but it is an invitation to go deeper in intimacy with the Holy Spirit. It is an invitation for your roots to go deeper.
Related Article: Waiting Is Painful, But It Prepares Us
4. Stop Looking for the Applause of People!
In the beginning of a 5k, you are running with many people, you hear the screams of encouragement and people taking your photo. However, there is a section of the run where you find yourself alone. Your phone battery is dead, no music is played, no screams of encouragement or photos taken. You are tired, and there is a desire within you to quit.
When the cameras are off, and we find ourself exhausted and alone, we have a decision to make:
Will we continue to run or will we give up?
Will we keep our eyes on Jesus and keep running?
Or, will we get distracted and go back to our old ways?
It is easy to run when we have people around to spur us on. But when the cameras are off and no one is there, are we still faithful?
Related Article: How To Stand Firm In Faith When You’re Tired!
5. Focus on The Finish Line!
God is the author and finisher of our faith, and he doesn’t start something he doesn’t plan to finish. Whatever journey you are on with God you can have faith that God will be with you to the end. Please don’t give up or give into temptation. You are a catalyst for change and your presence on this earth brings God’s kingdom!
Here are some bible verses about finishing the race with excellence:
“Like a man running a race, I try hard to reach the line so that I will receive the prize. Because we belong to Christ Jesus, God is calling us to receive this prize that he has for us in heaven. All of us who are grown-up Christians should feel this way. And if you do not think this way, God will show you the right way. But no matter how far we have gone, we must keep on going that way. And let us do it together, having the same things in mind.” Philippians 3:14-16
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” Hebrews 12:11-13
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Frequently Asked Questions
Where in the Bible is the race is not for the swift?
“I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11
What does the Bible say about perseverance?
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
What is the purpose of racing bible verses?
Running can be a difficult task because our bodies need to be prepared to run a long distance. Paul uses racing to show that we must train, prepare, and keep going while working for God. Paul also wants us to understand that being an ambassador of Christ is hard work which require persistence, perseverance, and emotional/physical strength.
What Bible verse has finished the race?
Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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”.
What is a good Bible verse for sports?
Hebrews 12:1, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, Hebrews 12:11-13, and 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.