Read Philippians 3:12-16
You’ve heard it said “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Actually, I have no idea what training for a marathon is like, but from what friends tell me, it’s hard, time consuming, and challenging. So this is a good analogy.
What would happen today if you set out to run 26.2 miles straight? You would die. Okay, I would die! I haven’t trained for something like this and my protein shake for breakfast certainly wouldn’t suffice as a pre-marathon meal.
Whether you’ve run a marathon or not, you know that there are many aspects to training for a 26.2 mile race.
Lots of physical training. Running, running, and more running.
Starting out in shorter distances, you run and build up endurance.
You add on miles as you train.
You eat differently when running long distances.
You hydrate appropriately.
You treat injuries immediately.
So much of this is to be carried over into the Christian life. It is a life of endurance, filling up on the Bread of Life and Living Water, being helped when hurting, and resting regularly. God has designed life this way.
Paul is pushing us with words of encouragement here, telling us how we can run with endurance.
We forget what is behind, and press on to what lies ahead.
We “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (v.14)
We must as Christians be able to forget what is behind us, the shame and guilt that try to weigh us down, the sin that tries to trip us up. The only way to run this race is to keep laser beam focus on Christ.
It’s not about perfection, is about perspective.
It’s not about running the fastest, but running with endurance.
It’s not about our own strength, but running in His strength.
When we press on toward the prize, we can push through our suffering and hard circumstances. When we can keep our eyes fixed on Christ, the race gets easier.
1. what is Paul’s encouragement to us in these verses?
2. Why do we need to be reminded to endure and fix our eyes on the prize?
3. Are you in a season you need to press on? Have you lost sight of Christ? List some ways you can “press on toward the goal” below.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)