“Run the race set before YOU…” {Heb 12:2}.

You can’t run the race you “wish” you were in, wasted energy, wasted time! “Run…the race that is set before you…” Difficult, trying circumstances? “Run the race set BEFORE YOU.” But how? “Looking away from all else, unto Jesus!” It is more than a nice slogan, it is life energizing to the soul .  “Looking” speaks of believing, whole hearted trust and not a mere glimpse but a fixing your attention on Him and resting your faith in Him.  Paul did not say “I know WHAT I believe in,” but “I know WHOM I Believe in and am persuaded He is able to keep what I have entrusted to Him…”  

Fixing our eyes (aphorao from apo = away from something near, indicates separation + horao = look, see, behold) means to look away from all else and to look steadfastly, intently toward a distant object. The idea is to direct one’s attention without distraction. The idea is putting some things away (behind) to go with a forward-gaze. This happens through inner vision (perception), persuaded about God’s upcoming provision.”{preceptaustin}

Wuest writes, “The word “looking” is aphorao “to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something.” The word also means “to turn one’s mind to a certain thing.” Both meanings are applicable here, the spiritual vision turned away from all else and together with the mind, concentrated on Jesus. What a lesson in Christian running technique we have in that little preposition (apo) “off, away from,” which is prefixed to this verb. The minute the Greek runner in the stadium takes his attention away from the race course and the goal to which he is speeding, and turns it upon the on-looking crowds, his speed is slackened. It is so with the Christian. The minute he takes his eyes off of the Lord Jesus, and turns them upon others, his pace in the Christian life is slackened, and his onward progress in grace hindered. (Hebrews – Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament – )

“LOOKING AWAY” from everything that may distract, darken, dampen your enthusiasm for Jesus. LOOK AWAY continually from all that would seek to fill your thoughts, control your thinking, INFLUENCE your motivation and behavior, that does not express love for Him or honor towards Him and others. LOOK AWAY continually to Jesus, His Person, His Work, His Promises. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, meditating upon Him, and practicing it! Don’t succumb to the temptation to be distracted,dominated by your surroundings instead of the Savior who is in control of your surroundings! Use the circumstances to be a springboard for your faith to look away by faith to JESUS!

“Run the race set BEFORE YOU…” It is a race of faith. You cannot run in someone else’s lane, as much as it may appear easier, and more desirable and less painful and challenging. And indeed it may be, but it is not your race, it is theirs. You have your own race to run, that ONLY YOU can run. You can run in your lane, deriving strength, hope, endurance, perseverance to love and trust as you relate ALL TO Jesus and derive ALL FROM Jesus, by faith!

Are you in a difficult place? You can run the race of faith in it, because He who calls you also enables you through His power, appropriating His promises by His Spirit-{ Read 2 Pet 1:3-4; Phil 2:13}.

Run, not focusing on the difficulties nor the darkness but on Jesus who is LORD over the difficulties and darkness!