A good athlete will give his best for the forwards. It’s unusual to see him slowdown or stop to check up a rival. As he runs, he’s interested in nothing but winning. Should he be representing his country, he doesn’t mind what becomes of other countries’ reps. He got his country at heart and cares nothing about any other. This shows hisconcentration and commitment to be the first to cross the finishing line for the reward of a medal and for the glory of the country he represents.
Christians are pilgrims on earth as athletes; and we represent a heavenly Kingdom. The believer’s reward is in the forward. The crown of glory is no where found behind; it’s found when we’ve gone the last mile of the way.
The Scripture reveals that being “compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,” we should “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,” and importantly “run with patience 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2). Note that the Joy was set before our Lord and not behind him. We should rather keep our focus on this same reward than looking behind.
- Should we, on the basis and at the expense of grace, keep falling prey to sinful acts of malice, gossips, fornication or adultery, talkactiveness, ponography, drunkenness, hatred, pride, envy, dishonesty, idolatry and the likes with which the devil gets us down to regrets and shame?
- Are we still engulfed with the fervour for winning perishing souls into the Kingdom of Lights?
- Do we still have a place for patience and endurance in our hearts or we just want everything easy and cool? Where, really, is the enduring spirit that keeps us toiling on in tough times?
- Do we still have focus on the crown of glory awaiting the saints although the inconveniencies of the cross?
- Are we still looking unto JESUS the author and finisher of our faith?
Apostle Jude encourages us to earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 1:3). Don’t just fight for the faith; do it earnestly. Do it with all seriousness, with all of yourself, with all that you’ve been graced with, with all it takes — being aware that the reward of Heaven is worth whatever.
Our Lord did it and has left us with an example: according to Hebrews 12:2, Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame, and now sits at the right hand of God’s throne — a place of endless joy and glory, a place of no pain or sorrow. So, refuse to give up on this spiritual race and fight, however heavy the cross is. The devil will try all he can to stop you, but never let him win. If you’ve fallen, get up right away and fight on.
Remember Lot’s wife. She took grace for granted — she looked back to what she had left behind and consequently became a pillar of salt. We can’t afford to do same; we dare not mess with grace! There is no better experience in Sodom than the bliss of Canaan. Keep your focus forwards. Looking backwards shouldn’t be an option at all.
Be reminded that the Just survives by faith. Keep holding onto Jesus and never retire; you can only get there by going there — and that with Him. Fight on and maintain the grace-effect! There are terrible and unpleasant consequences for those who don’t.
Our Master warns us that “No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God. … I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Luke 10:62; Revelation 3:11).
Keep your focus forwards, saint. Do it for the heavenly Kingdom you represent. Do it for the crown of glory you expect. Our Lord did it; we can do it! His grace is very sufficient for our doing it. We fight on and focus forwards.