“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”Hebrews 12:1
Ten years ago I went on a mission trip with my church to Costa Rica. For one week we went to elementary schools in different towns doing vacation bible school. My teammates and I created a game centered around Hebrews 12:1. It was sort of like an obstacle course and when each child got to the end they waited for the other children cheering them on as they crossed the finish line. The point of the game was we wanted to teach the children when they become a follower of Jesus Christ they don’t have to go through the journey alone. There will always be other believers helping them along and at the end of that race, Jesus will be standing there to welcome them into the kingdom. Sometimes I have to ask myself, do I know what I am a part of? Who do I belong to? I am a member of the body of Christ and I belong to God. I have been bought with a price anxiously awaiting the day of redemption. Out in the world, we may feel isolated sometimes because of our faith but there is no other religion in the world that teaches that you are not alone and that you are a part of a body, you have spiritual gifts to be used to help and edify one another until The Day arrives. There are many, many others that have gone before us and paved the way for the gospel to be reached to the four corners of the earth. They are now a part of the cloud of witnesses cheering us on while we remain here on the earth until we finish the race.
Right now we are living in the most thrilling yet arduous time in history, the end of the age. More than ever we need to come together as a body. The greatest mission is right now. Do you know what you are a part of? We are a part of the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I know its tough right now with all the fake news out there. Trying to discern the truth from all the lies. It’s especially, bad in the church when many have claimed they have heard from the Holy Spirit on certain matters that are totally contradictory to the scriptures. False prophets leading many astray with false signs and wonders operating in a counterfeit spirit, causing great confusion. We all know that God is not the author of confusion, so we ought to be following Jesus, who is the Truth.
We are so close to the end, I know because many of us are growing weary. We have either stopped going to church or fellowships. Stopped praying and reading the Bible. Its a battle sometimes just to get out of bed. There’s anxiety, uncertainty, feelings of being overwhelmed because we see the world deteriorating around us and growing colder and darker. Feelings of inadequacy and ineffectiveness for God. Waiting for the other shoe to drop or next spiritual attack. All of these are the enemy’s tactics to get you disqualified or knock you out of the race. The enemy wants you to take your eyes off the finish line. The enemy may put some stumbling blocks before us that got us to fall, but I want to tell you to get up! Help is on the way! That help is riding in on a white horse and His name is Faithful and True! He is bringing with Him a great cloud of witnesses! Brothers and sisters we have known that have completed their race before us. Fathers, mothers, grandparents, friends, children, all waiting and cheering you on. Jesus at the end waiting to say “Well done good and faithful servant!” Brothers and sisters in Christ we must endure to the end and pray for one another. I know its rough now and it’s going to get a lot rougher, but when we see Jesus it will all be worth it. Maranatha!