Reading from the Book of Hebrews 11:32-12:3
Hebrews 11:32 And
what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon,
and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel,
and of the prophets:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness
were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of
received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not
accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the
sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute,
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset
us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
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.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
When a runner runs a race, his focus is not on the people in the stands or on the runners around him, but on the finish line! As a believer, your life is like a race, and as you run, it is important to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. If we are going to run our race, we must lay aside every weight and run the race with patience. Running our race with no hindrances means stripping for the contest.
There are many different hindrances to running a race well and developing our full potential. Too many commitments is one that keeps us from developing our potential. Letting other people control us keeps us from developing our potential. Not knowing how to say no keeps us from developing our potential. Getting overly involved in someone else's goal and vision or becoming entangled in someone else's problems instead of keeping our eyes on our own goals will also keep us from fulfilling our potential.
I find that the devil comes up with a thousand ways every week to entangle me and get me into something that will prevent me from doing what I am supposed to be doing. I see it in other peoples daily lives where one might being having a "tiff" with another and everyone has an opinion. That's the devil trying to get me involved in something I have no place to be entangled with.
If we want to do what God called us to do, we must stay focused because the world we live in is filled with distractions and entanglements. Let me encourage you to keep your focus on the Lord and be diligent to lay aside everything that might distract you or hold you back.