Building Endurance and Keeping Pace

Running the Race 5.11.15

When I look back to our first ministry I am amazed at how hard we “ran”. We were so excited that a church would actually want us. We were willing to do whatever it took to serve with passion.

I look back now, some 10+ years later and think, “We must have been nuts!” How foolish to think we were going to last in full time ministry at that pace. After only 2 ½ years, we needed to take time off to recover. We were done.

Last week we read over 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 and discussed how helpful it is to know your course. Knowing your course helps you stay the course. It’s also true that in order to run the ministry race, we must also build endurance to keep our pace.   Hebrews 12:1-2 says,

“Therefore we also, 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, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

When studying a passage, I find it helpful to define some terms.

“Cloud of witnesses” is the people that are mentioned in Hebrews 11: They were not spectators; they were experienced and knew the race firsthand.

A weight is anything that hinders…anything that stands in your way….we are instructed to get rid of it, put it off to the side…be free to run with all we’ve got!

As we are looking unto Jesus, we are to fix, set, have determined focus on Jesus….not the actual running we are doing.

Building endurance isn’t a one-time event. It requires time, experiences, and practice. No matter where you are in your race, you can build endurance and set your pace by following these 3 faith- repetitions:

  1. Surround yourself with people like those in Hebrews 11. Find one or two faithful witnesses that are willing to shout from the side lines, “You can do this, His promises are real! You can believe and bank on them!” Envision a cheering section of those that “get it”, that truly understand ministry because they’ve experienced it and can testify to the truth of the faith in it.
  2. Check what weights you are carrying. No athlete runs a race with weights wrapped around his neck. Consider what is weighing you down. How is your heart? Are you resentful, struggling with anger or impatience? Maybe there is deeper heart issue. Don’t let it go unaddressed. If you want to be free to run without hindrances, deal with it now.
  3. Check your focus. Is your gaze determined? Would you call your focus “fixed”? If not, take some time today to realign your vision. When it is on Christ alone, you can finish strong!

Leave a Reply