Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Several years ago, when I was running a marathon in the dead of winter here in Dallas, I learned an important lesson. With sleet falling and fog settling in and not knowing or seeing the finish line, I began to get discouraged and feared that I might not make it. That's when my older brother, who had trained for the Marathon with me and was an avid runner, ran back to find me (he had finished earlier) and encouraged me. We crossed the finish line together, and it is one of my favorite photos in my office. The lesson I learned that day was this: when I couldn't see the finish line I became discouraged, but when my brother found me and helped me because he knew how far I needed to go, it encouraged me to continue and finish strong.
I once read a similar story about a youth minister who learned a key lesson from his father who was a guide for groups climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in South Africa. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a lot like life his father said. The road is long and sometimes very difficult. There are tough spots along the way with moments of exhilaration and moments of intense complexity and trouble. That's our lives, our families, our relationships. The father went on to say, that when climbers can't see the peak because it is cloudy, they don't make it to the top very often. The climbers become discouraged, irritable, negative and fight among themselves. But when the peak is clear, and they can fix their eyes on the peak, the climbers are focused and work together. They almost always make it to the top. The difference, of course, is that they keep their eyes on the goal, the peak of the mountain.
Our lives are just like that. When we fix our eyes on Jesus and persevere, we can accomplish our goals; when we take our eyes off our Savior and follow another road, we forfeit our spiritual direction in life. Stay on the road. Read His Map (the Bible) often. He knows the way. He will show you the path.
Oswald Chambers said it this way: “Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ.” During this fast, ask the Father if there anything today that is holding you back? What is God asking you to do about it? You know the answer; now decide to do what He tells you to do.
1) During this fast, ask the Father if there is anything today that is holding you back?
2) What is God asking you to do about it?
3) You know the answer; now decide to do what He tells you to do.