“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (II Timothy 4:7).
Paul the Apostle compares the Spiritual life with that of wrestling. He compares it with struggle. Not only that. He also compares it with a running race. He writes that he has completed his run successfully. You begin to run this Spiritual run right from the day on which you were saved.
You need to run on the way which God shows after overcoming the power of world, flesh and satan. “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it” (I Corinthians 9:24).
In the worldly run, you may run 100 metres or a mile. Here, the race will be for a fixed distance. Prizes will not be for every participant but only to those who complete the race in the first, second and third places.
But in the Spiritual one, you have to run for the whole of your lifetime. You will have to continue the run till your last breath. Prizes are not limited to the first, second and third places but to all those who complete it successfully. The prize is not an ordinary one but ‘a crown of righteousness.’
When you begin to run, you have to run with willpower, faith and an aim. Unless you have a mental toughness and commitment, the problems of the world will make you deviate from your decision. You have to overcome the hurdles which may come across and run in response to Christ’s call in the path of victory.
The whole of chapter 11 in the book of Hebrews is written about the faith warriors of the Old Testament. The names of the winners of the Spiritual race are found there. They have completed their run before our turn and have surrounded us as clouds. Those who are wise are around us like the brightness of the stars in the firmament (Daniel 12:3).
After completing the chapter 11, Paul begins the next chapter with a wonderful truth. He points out “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). He also counsels saying “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
The saints of the Old Testament ran the race; Christ also ran; Paul the Apostle also ran. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega of this Spiritual race. So, continue to run the race with the hope of winning it.
To meditate: “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5).