Hello to you!
You know that saying, “off to the races”? When I find myself in disappointment, that’s what my thoughts tend to do — go “off to the races” running … in all the wrong directions. But that’s not “the race” our verse of the week’s instructing us to run:
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1b-2a (NIV)
I want to do something a bit different today. Because our verse is so closely tied to our topic for this week (letting go of what’s holding us back, including the enemy), I’d like to take a closer look at the verse and see what we can learn.
The first thing that grabbed me is, “fixing our eyes.” What does it mean to do this?
While we don’t know the author of Hebrews, it’s believed to be someone with considerable knowledge in Greek. So I looked up this phrase in Greek and discovered it translates into one word: “aphorao.” What surprised me is, it doesn’t just mean to fix our eyes ON something. It actually also means, “to turn the eyes away from other things.”
What do you need to turn your eyes away from in order to fix your eyes on Jesus and run the race?
Another thing that struck me is, it doesn’t simply say, “And let us run the race.” It adds two important words: “with perseverance.” In Greek, this translates to “hupomone,” which means, “a patient waiting for; steadfastness.”
How is patience (your capacity to accept/tolerate delay/difficulty without getting angry) affecting the race you’re running?
Also notice it doesn’t say, “A race” but, “THE race.” In other words, not just any old race or a race of our choosing, but THE race ALREADY “marked out for us” … by Jesus, the “pioneer and perfecter of faith,” which in Greek translates to, “originator, author, founder.”
This is so encouraging because it means we don’t have to know the way or make the way ourselves! We have the “author” to follow. The only One who knows our story from beginning to end, and who’s gone before us to prepare the way.
Are you trying to make your own way, run your own race?
I don’t know about you, but when I stop to peer at these words in Hebrews a bit more closely, I’m excited to get “off to the races” with Jesus leading the way! Who better to follow through difficulty and delay than the one who’s perfectly prepared the way?
Reflect and Respond:
What’s keeping your gaze from staying fixed on Jesus? Also, as we share, let’s encourage one another by replying with a prayer for the commenter right above us OR by simply jotting down their info and letting them know they’re being prayed for.
Looking forward to praying for/with you!
P.S. Want to dig into our verse (and others) even further? Don’t miss the Bible study tips Sarah shares with us in this week’s Bible Study Companion!
This week’s session of the It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way Teaching Series is Thursday, February 21 at 12 p.m. ET with Angie Smith. If you’ve purchased this study extra, watch your email for more info. If you want to learn more about this optional series, click here.