Monday, October 16, 2006

Running With Patience

On the Lord’s Day morning, October 15, I was meditating on Hebrews 12:1.

Wherefore 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,
(Heb 12:1)

Have you ever noticed the phrase, “run with patience?” How does one “run with patience?” I know that in every race I have run patience would not be the word I would use to describe my attitude. Usually, I want to strive to get ahead. To me, “patience” would mean hesitation, or a likeliness to lose. Yet, the Word of God speaks very clearly that we are to “run with patience.” Now, this could be that we need to pace ourselves. After all, if we are running a marathon, we do not begin the race by sprinting. Those who do such a thing may, for a moment, pull ahead of the entire pack. Yet they will tire quickly, and most likely will not even finish the race. While this application could be made to our Christian walk, I think we need to examine the full context of this verse by taking into consideration the scriptures that follow, as well as the entire Chapter 11 that precedes it. In doing this, I arrived at a slightly different interpretation of this particular scripture. Verse 2 tells 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.
(Heb 12:2)

So, we see that it is Jesus Himself that both authors and finishes our faith. It is His sovereign will that directs and determines the race we run. How quick we are to strive to live this life in our own strength, and yet how much we need to learn to rely on His strength to carry us through. Looking at chapter 11, it becomes apparent that this race may not even be completed in our own lifetimes. Chapter 11 lists several mighty men of God. Yet we are told in verse 39:

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
(Heb 11:39)

We see Moses, who being the great leader and man of God though he was, did not enter into the promise land. Yet, he groomed Joshua for the job of leading the people into this land flowing with milk and honey. Consider that as faithful fathers and mothers we are laying a foundation for a multi-generational vision for which we may never see the end result. Yet, we can leave a legacy of faith that our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and our descendents beyond them can carry on. There is currently a reformation going on whereby fathers are rising up to take their God given place as heads of their homes. These fathers are beginning to take the lead in homeschooling their children. They are beginning to take on the mantle of Family Priest that God has placed upon them by discussing matters of spiritual importance with other brothers in Christ and making changes in their own households. Many, including me, long for the day when we can establish businesses for ourselves in order to spend an even greater amount of time carrying out the Deuteronomy 6 mandate of teaching our children as we sit, walk along the way, lie down, and rise up. Yet, as worthwhile as these goals may be, some of us may not obtain them in our lifetimes. The industrial revolution did not pull fathers out of the home overnight, and it may be difficult indeed to restore the God ordained structures of fathers and sons working together as quickly as we may like. So, brothers, let us run the race, with the intention to win, but let us do it with patience, knowing that the Lord Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith, is faithful to complete the good work that He has begun in us. Be sure that your efforts will bring about reformation, if not in your lifetime, then in the lifetimes of your descendents.

Bless His Holy Name.

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