Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”
There are many things that can bog you down when you are running. God makes it clear that the believer is running a race. The believer is not just running a race against time, but against eternity, and that is why we must get rid of anything that would hinder us from running the race that God has set before us. Yes, we are running against time because our time on this earth is but a vapor, but we are also running against eternity because people are quickly slipping out into eternity every second of our life. We must run the race that God has set before us in such a manner so that we can reach as many people as we can before they slip out into eternity. The verse above shows many things that can slow the believer down in this race against time and eternity.
First, a lack of awareness of our responsibility to those who ran before us slows us down in the race against time and eternity. God reminds us that we “are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.” There are people who ran before us who we owe a debt to make sure that we run our race with as much dedication and fervor as they ran. This race that you are running is not just your race, but you are part of a great team who ran before you who are depending on you to do your part to complete the race in the right way.
Second, weights will slow us down in the race against time and eternity. The verse above says, “…let us lay aside every weight…” A weight is not a sin, but it will slow us down from being what we are supposed to be in this race. My friend, whatever your issues are in life, you need to lay them aside for the sake of this race in which you are running. Moreover, there are some things that are not wrong for you to do, but they will hinder you from running in this race against time and eternity. Anything that hinders you from running the race God has set before you to the best of your ability must be laid aside for the sake of reaching people before they slip out into eternity.
Third, besetting sins will slow us down in this race against time and eternity. Sin is more than a weight; it is a race-stopper. If you realized the gravity of the race that you are running, you would find it much easier to lay aside your besetting sin. One reason we don't overcome our besetting sins is because we have never stopped to see how much they hinder us in this race. When the race that God has placed you in becomes more important to achieve than to enjoy the pleasure of your besetting sin is when you will find yourself overcoming that sin.
Fourth, impatience will slow us down in this race against time and eternity. God says, “…let us run with patience…” You cannot expect everything to happen right now if you are going to run the race against time and eternity successfully. You must be patient with the process of sowing and reaping so that you don't become weary in the well-doing of this great race in which we run.
Fifth, the wrong focus will slow us down in this race against time and eternity. Our focus must be upon the Lord Jesus Christ if we are going to run this race properly. Staying focused on Christ will give us the example we need to run the race properly and with fervor until we finish our race.