Running Our Race

Rhema TeamMay 2024 WOF, WOF Current IssueLeave a Comment

Two men talking in front of the river

WE ALL HAVE a race to run. Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV) says, “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

What does our race look like? I believe our race is Christlikeness. Our challenge is becoming like Jesus. Some would say, “No, no, no. Our race is evangelism.” But God’s idea from the beginning was, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Gen. 1:26 NKJV). Even though Adam sinned, God’s intention never changed.

Jesus is our model. We’re to look like Him.
Mark Bintliff

Jesus is “the brightness of [God’s] glory and the express image of His person” (Heb. 1:3). Jesus is our model. We’re to look like Him. We are to run our race “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). But as we set out to be Christ-like, we’ve let the enemy tell us, “You’ll never be like Jesus.” We can’t be like Him in our own strength. But God has put His Holy Spirit in us and that changes everything.

Galatians 5:25 (NKJV) says, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” In explaining this verse, Kenneth Wuest writes, “The responsibility of the saint is to desire to live a Christlike life, to depend upon the Holy Spirit for the power to live that life, and to step out on faith and live that life. This fulfilled, will bring all the infinite resources of grace to the aid of the saint, and put in operation all the activities of the Spirit in his behalf.”

Having God’s Spirit in us is like putting a racing engine in the family car. We have dynamic power in us that drives us forward, inspires our lives, and moves us into what God called us to do. We have to learn to live by that power, but God will help us do that. He will show us how to use that power in everyday life to become like Christ.

Getting Rid of Weights

To be like Jesus, we will go through a “training process.” In auto racing—especially endurance racing—drivers practice on a test track that’s not an oval. They and their team learn how to navigate corners and eliminate aerodynamic drag.

Spiritually, we go through a similar process. For instance, when we find “drag” in our marriage, the Holy Spirit teaches us how to handle rough corners and avoid getting stuck or spinning out.

Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV) tells us to “lay aside every weight.” Some Christians deal with the weight of guilt and shame from their past. We’re to lay those things aside. Others deal with distractions. Paul said in First Corinthians 10:23 (CSB), “ ‘Everything is permissible,’ but not everything is beneficial.” Some things in our flesh slow us down. We need to lay them aside too.

Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me”
(Matthew 11:29 NKJV). As we run our race, we can come to Him, and He’ll show us how to walk through situations in love, joy, peace, and gentleness.

Jesus is returning for a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27). It’s a church that looks like Him. That means every individual member looks like, operates like, and uses God’s power like Him.

Don’t let the devil lie to you and tell you it’s not possible to be like Jesus. With God’s help, it is possible!


[Editor’s Note: This article was adapted from Mark Bintliff’s message at Campmeeting 2023. Rev. Bintliff pastors New Creation Church in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.]

*Kenneth S. Wuest, Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, Volume 1 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1944, 1972), 162.

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Mark Bintliff

Mark Bintliff

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