“[A]part from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us throw off … and let us run …. ” Hebrews 11:40b-12:1 (NASB)
This passage in Hebrews has left me awe-struck. And I find it curious that, although I have read and studied it many times before, it has never struck me in the way it does now. God is using it in profound ways in my life.
Hebrews 11 & 12 discuss the reality — God’s reality — that how I live my Christian life matters not only to me and to God, but also to every one of God’s people in the course of history. How I run my race matters to Moses and Abraham and Paul and Peter, etc., etc. That blows my mind!
You see, for the most part, I have never really enjoyed participating in team sports. I have always loved fitness and exercise, but as for sports, I always gravitated to the individual sports. Too much pressure or something in the team sports. But now I am on Team Jesus … and the team members are not only those I interact with in the here and now, but also those who have ever played for Him throughout the ages. Given my history with teams, you’d think that might paralyze me, but actually it inspires me to run my race more intentionally — with more focus and inspiration. As only the Spirit can do, this passage is increasing my desire to play my role well because it can help the whole team.
God made people the crowning jewel of creation. And a God sent His one and only Son to restore and redeem people. On top of that, God desires to see all of creation redeemed and restored. I’m not sure what goes on in heaven, but I am now convinced that if those are the things that are on the heart of God, then those are the things that are on the heart of His saints in heaven. Just because their “at bat” is over, do you not think they are interested in how the rest of the team in doing? I do, for Hebrews tells us that apart from us, they will not be made perfect.
Therefore, let us through off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.