The Bible describes our lives as races (1 Corinthians 2:4, Hebrews 12:1, 2 Timothy 4:7), calling us to run toward God, to persevere and finish strong. We are told that at the end of this race is our eternal prize, and we know that we will benefit from a race we have run with strength and endurance.

A race is often easier said than done. There are things in life that hold us back and diminish our spiritual momentum as we chase an ever-growing relationship with God. Sins and hindrances are like vines that reach up to grab at our feet as we continue to push forward, and sometimes they catch us and hold us hostage.

Sin tries to take our eyes off God. It tries to blind us and make itself our slave master. We may lose our footing and stop altogether. It can be anything—addictions, bad memories, fear. It may be that you carry the weight of your job or the expectations of others, so much so that running a race for a life dedicated to God becomes much more difficult under the weight of your burdens.  A number of things can ensnare us and keep us from our heavenly Father and make us forget, even for a moment, that we are living with a divine purpose set before us.

The enemy will use whatever he can to sway your focus from what God has called you to. He knows what will distract you and cause you to trip up. It calls for diligence on our part to recognize when he is trying to entangle us in sin, and how to cast it off. Know where your weaknesses lie, and fortify those places with the Word of God.

Our hope in the Lord will keep us upright, and from stumbling over the sin that tries to stop us. Isaiah 40:31 says, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)

We run a narrow path that won’t clear itself. There is no way around, so we must go through. Sin will reach up to grab your feet and steal your momentum, but God tells us to persevere. Only God’s power can pull us through the sin that tries to bog us down. In His strength is where we find hope and perseverance. We cannot overcome our daily battles with sin on our own.

Christ promises to lift the heavy burdens we shoulder through life, and has already died for the very sins that threaten to consume us. They hold no power over us, and should not interfere with how we run our race toward God. They will undoubtedly try, but we know that with God we can cast them off and persevere to the end.

– Sarah Eberwein

Listen to this week’s message from Pastor Caleb