My favorite speaker Christine Caine in her book Run to Win talks about how runners have to shed all the excess weight that can hinder them. She uses Hebrews 12:1 as an example scripture here. I want to quote both verses 1 and 2 and talk about how I take this scripture.
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, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
The first part of the scripture talks about a cloud of witnesses. This could be our Christian brothers and sisters, but more importantly, I think Paul is talking about the unbelievers who are watching and waiting for us to slip up. A very important point Christine makes is that you don’t see any runners out there with full ski gear, you see them with thin tight fitting clothing. While we are under the microscope of the world, God is looking at us through blood stained glasses and sees us as pure as the driven snow. What weights us down for some Christian’s is our witness. We live life as the world does and then come in on Sunday and worship as if we live like that all the time. We put on a facade and pretend we are something we are not or wish we were. For some it may not be lifestyle, but past life. The anchor to the past keeps us from moving forward into God’s plan for us.
Christine makes a point that runners need the right running gear. She mentions a woman who showed up to a marathon wearing bowling shoes and had to quit after 10 miles because of major blisters she had. Footwear is the most important piece of equipment the runner needs. I can attest to that. I bought the wrong kind of running shoes one time and was too stubborn to get rid of them and they ended up injuring my left side causing an imbalance in my gate. The thing that causes injury to runner is any kind of imbalance. It’s the same with our believer’s marathon. If we don’t have the right footwear on we are open to imbalance in our lives. The correct footwear is living Jesus Christ 24/7. When we run our race in Jesus’ flip-flops, where we land will be protected, but along the way, we may get the top of our feet dirty, but Jesus is there to wipe them clean as He did in the book of John when He washed the disciple’s feet.
We can run a long way in the right running shoes and in our believer’s marathon the next verse talks about Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith. Meaning keep them Jesus flip-flops on so that you can finish the race strong. Jesus is ever cleaning our feet as the verse points out that He had to endure the cross. Jesus is our endurance in this believer’s marathon. He knew the cross was going to be major pain and anguish, but He went willing because He had His eye on the great prize, joy. His suffering is our joy, because His love is so powerful we have joy. We are not joyful He suffered; we are joyful because of the reason He suffered.
The last part of the verse I want to talk about is how Jesus despised the shame. He became shame, so that we have no shame. Shame is one of the main detractors from the faith. Shame keeps us from getting help when we need it. We have a fear of being judged by people. We need people to help us through with whatever we are struggling with, whether it is burden, or a sin. God does not want us sitting in shame and worrying about a problem, He wants us working with other people to work through a problem.
Jesus flip-flops are the best running shoes we can use in our believers marathon. They make us light on our feet, we love ourselves the way we should. They give us endurance to make it through a trial. They give us joy in our race and take all the shame away. He is consistently washing our dirty feet. We can finish strong with Jesus flip-flops.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.