Divine Destiny

Hebrews 12: 1       (New Living Translation)

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

This may be a familiar verse to you however, I appreciate how the New Living Translation puts forth the ideas in such a straightforward and simple way. The NIV Bible says to run the race with perseverance. The key, though, is the imparted knowledge of how we do this. It is one thing to mentally nod in agreement to run the race with all perseverance but how? What does that mean in every day application?

This translation explains that the way to successfully run the race God has set before us is to keep our eyes on Jesus. It is so easy for us to get into a works mentality when we read a verse like this and begin to look at our own strength, i.e. what should I do, when should I do it, how much should I pray, how long should I read my Bible? It becomes a list of New Year’s resolutions which rely on our will power and determination. That, however, is a prescription for failure. We have done attempted to run this race in our own strength before and have failed. Now is the time for a new model, a new prescription and one that is guaranteed to succeed.

The Passion Translation gives us further insight into this winning method, “We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.” Isn’t that well stated? This is a race of faith, so we learn to fix our eyes upon Jesus. He is the author of our faith. The Passion Translation takes the explanation one step further by teaching that the way to keep your eyes on Jesus is to “look away from the natural realm.” In other words, we must cease looking to the world for our answers. We must look to wisdom and of course, the Spirit of Wisdom is of our Father.

We need to learn how to inquire of the Father and how to focus on Jesus? What does that mean? For one thing, it seems to mean to turn our eyes away from worldly wisdom. If we try to live on a diet of the world’s thinking, we are going to be malnourished. Certainly, most of us pray asking Yahweh for answers but do we hear Him? Do we pause to listen? One aspect is turning away from worldly media and wisdom, but the second part is turning to Jesus the initiator and perfecter of our faith. This involves developing our hearing. We cannot afford to walk around deaf anymore. The world’s way of thinking is killing us. So, how do you hear God? Where do you look when you put your eyes on Jesus?

Jesus said he only did the things he saw his Father do. In fact, what he really said is that he could do nothing of himself but rather only what he saw his father do. That is a pretty powerful statement. If we apply Jesus’ model to our lives, as I understand many Christians try to do, then where do we look? How do you really put your eyes on Jesus? Are you using the visionary capacity that is granted you in the Holy Spirit? Are you using meditation to allow Jesus to commune with your mind and spirit? Are you reading the Bible keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus there? These are all questions we should ask ourselves. We have been given the mandate, to “run with endurance the race God has set before us.” We have been told the means for accomplishing this is to fix our eyes upon Jesus. How do we even know we are running the right race if we don’t tune in to Jesus?

We each need to watch Jesus, listen to him and commune with him constantly so he can show us and even tell us what path to follow, what steps to take. As long as we follow our ideas, or the world’s wisdom we will frustrate our divine destiny. It is early in the year, only the 9th, so let’s each determine to slow down and seek our God. Let’s find out what is on His mind and what plans He has for us this year. Then, when you have clear direction from the Father, then run, run with Jesus the race Yahweh has ordained for you. It will be really fun and very rewarding.