Hebrews 12:1 KJV
“......let us lay aside EVERY WEIGHT…..., and let us RUN with patience the race that is set before us”
The Greek games in Bible days were very famous and drew much attention. People came from far and wide to witness it. The games comprised of several activities ranging from athletics to weight-lifting and wrestling, but the most interesting were the races. Sprinting feats were achieved year after year by various athletes.
Admission into this race required that a person MUST be a Greek citizen. The athletes had to train for over a year before the event to fully prepare themselves for it. This training demanded that the athlete must be of certain weight qualification in order to attain a state of lightness and speed. Therefore, a regimen was established to coordinate the athlete’s food and exercise.
The training was long and arduous.
The athlete was required to drop every other thing that may be or even remotely resembles a distraction. Emotional attachments, parties, orgies, sex and sweethearts were banned. One thing only was needful; total focus on winning the coming games!
When the day finally comes, the athletes all take their positions, ready to sprint forward at the signal.
One notable feature that was however common to all the athletes - ALL participating athletes were stripped of all manner of clothing except short and strongly tied loin clothes. The reason for this skimpy outfit was to ensure that no athlete was bearing any extra weight of clothing that may hinder speedy advancement.
These games were witnessed by thousands of people along with the athlete’s own family members. However, the most important witness of these races was the Greek emperor who was regarded a god amongst his people at the time.
The athlete is running the race for family honor but above all, he’s running to win THE prize. The prize was a crown - a wreath! A wreath is an arrangement of leaves or gaily colored flowers in the shape of a circle that is placed on the head of a victor to honor them for a feat achieved.
The greatest honour received by the victorious athlete on that day however is the opportunity of standing before the Emperor at very close quarters and the honour of looking into his face.
** A Greek citizen endures such rigorous training in order to participate in a race and win just to have the honor of looking straight into the face of a human emperor and be crowned.
WHAT should we citizens of Heaven not be willing to endure in order to be able to behold JESUS our King face to face as we stare into His love - filled eyes?
** This race is NOT about “making” Heaven; this is about rewards and crowns. Just as the Greek games admitted ONLY Greek citizens, this race allows ONLY Heaven Citizens to participate. We are NOT running it so that we can be saved; we are running it BECAUSE WE ARE SAVED!
** Those athletes endured all the rigors of training just to win a crown of flowers that will wither and die in a matter of weeks. But the crowns awaiting us are ETERNAL CROWNS OF GOLD!
1 Corinthians 9:25 KJV
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a CORRUPTIBLE (Subject to withering and decay) crown; but we an incorruptible (Never perishing)
It’s important to note that the weights addressed in this piece refer to distractions of any sort that challenge your focus on Christ Jesus. Every runner runs with their eyes on the finish line. They don’t stop to acknowledge the roar of the encouraging crowd or check if their toe nails are still glistening. They keep their eyes on the prize in the form of the finishing line. Jesus is our finishing line. Jesus is and should be our singular focus.
What a joy it will be when we shall see Him face to face at His Bema seat to receive our crowns! It’s a day that makes any discomfort, pain and inconvenience of serving Him today every bit worth it.
I drop every distraction today. i denounce every extra - weight producing appetite. Anything or person in my life that creates spiritual heaviness in me, thus hindering my spiritual speed i herewith disconnect. I shall finish my race and stand before my King to receive His glorious reward. I’m NOT running to make Heaven, I’m running because I am a citizen of Heaven ALREADY. Amen.
Shalom my beloved. May you run and finish well in the name of Messiah Yeshua. Amen.
Hebrews 12:1 KJV