To the Finish August 8
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,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I often think of this verse when I'm praying. I have a family portrait of my ancestors from more than 100 years ago. It's a large black and white photo in an old wood frame: some sitting, others standing, no children in the picture, just the heads of the different families. I don't even know who they were, but when I go to my place of prayer, there they are looking at me, almost as if to remind me that they are in Heaven watching me run my race.
Even though I don't know them by name, I know that I love them.
Over the years, I've had a few visions and dreams of the heavenly stadium. It's like an open stadium, sort of like the stadium here in Nashville, TN. A big field with grandstands around it. The saints that have proceeded us, the angels, can look down at what the Christians are doing.
I base this off what an angel told me once, "I ever only see you in your righteousness!" So, I assume that the witnesses can only see us in our righteousness. When you're doing things for the Lord, they highly approve.
They are pulling for you to win your race. Your race is not the same as my race. Notice there are no other people mentioned in the race besides you.
I remember going to a high school football game sitting in the stands, and there was this older man that would always run a few miles on the track that surrounded the football field. The daily routine he had been doing for years. He ignored the game going on and hundreds of people in the stands. He was going to jog and finish his exercise.
For some reason, I have never forgotten that it didn't matter to him what others thought. It was his race. No one joined him, and he ran by himself. Sometimes your faith in what Jesus has called you to do will make you feel like you are doing it alone. People will tell you they think you've missed it, or 'Oh, that's not God.'
Once, I told the Lord that I was so exhausted. Suddenly, I had a vision: I was a spectator in the stands; I could see myself on the track trying to make it to the finish line, exhausted like someone who had run a marathon and had nothing left to make it to the ribbon. Jesus ran onto the track, my arm over His shoulder, and carried me to the finish line.
Jesus has written His plan of faith for your life, and He will finish what He started. You're going to finish your race even if Jesus must jump out of the stands and carry you across the finish line because you're the joy set before Him. For some, life is a sprint. For others, it's a marathon.
He is: El Roi
The God Who Sees Me