Running a faith race is something that every one of us, as Christians, are called to do. Though finishing the race is the goal, finishing the race with victory is the God-ordained goal. Every one of us, as believers, are called to be transformed into the image of the Son of God. The race we have is, not ONLY that transformation, but to finish the race that we have been granted to complete as we are being transformed. When we finish the race set before us, the words every one of us should desire with all our beings to hear are the words, “Well Done Good and Faithful Servant.” As we go into this blog, I would like to set before us a few of the needed principles that will strengthen us as we run together as the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and as individuals of the body of Christ of which we are all apart.
 The Cloud of Witnesses
Hebrews 11 is one of the most encouraging chapters in the Bible. Throughout the chapter, we are shown life after life that walked a faith walk which connected to the heart and goal of the God who called them. No matter what the difficulty, what they possessed in them was always greater than all that came against them. The heart and purpose of God, the call of God, and the provision of God sustained them all the way to the end. But, in that chapter, the finish line was on the other side of eternity. It was the vision of God’s purpose and call that caused them to forsake all, and in some, even give their very lives. You and I have a great cloud of witnesses to cheer us and lead us on. Each one, though different like you and I, heard the call of God and ran their race to the end.
 Vision and Discipline
These two words run side by side for us as believers. Without vision, there is no reason to run a race let alone discipline ourselves in the matter. Prov. 28:19 states that “Where there is no revelation [Prophetic Vision], the people cast off restraint.” Vision is everything. As Christians, it is imperative that we know the heart and purpose of the Savior for both the church and ourselves as believers. You have a calling to serve. The vision and call of God for you is how to be a victorious overcomer as you serve Him with all your heart. In 1 Cor. 9:24-27, Paul speaks about running our race. His statement is for us to “Run in such a way to obtain the prize.” This way we run with certainty for the goal and vision of finishing the race before us and obtaining the prize. It is not shadow boxing the air as with an uncertainty of our purpose, but knowing our cause and our enemy as we discipline and prepare ourselves for the fight. We are called to keep ourselves temperate and disciplined in all things so we may not only finish but obtain the crown of life that is set aside for us. Remember, believers, our race isn’t just getting saved, but what we are saved to do and become. It is being redeemed from Satan’s kingdom and the power of our past in order to get our marching orders for our purpose and future.
 Reaching Forward
Every day can be a struggle sometimes. So often it is easy to feel that we have failed God or ourselves. This is hell itself trying to cause you to step back from your race and just be content that you are ok just where you are. Always remember, it is not you alone that runs and finishes the race, but it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” [Col. 1:27] that is running right along and inside your very being. When we fall or fail, the Holy Spirit is right there alongside us. Romans 8:26 states that “Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit makes the intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered.” The Holy Spirit is there to encourage and strengthen us according to the will of God. He exhorts and drives us to get back up and continue in the fight and the race. He knows the will of God for you and stands in the gap for you to win. Moses told Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:6 that “He will not leave you nor forsake you.” In Joshua 1:5, God reiterates the same as He says, “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you all the days of your life.” This is the strength we need to move forward. In Philippians 3:12-14, Paul writes, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Never looking back is the victory in hand for the believer. Keep the past behind you. Paul said to let go of all that is behind us and to reach forward to all that is ahead. If you look back, then you can’t see the race that is before you. Singleness of vision and always looking to where we’re going is how we run our race to win.
 Provision and Authority
In 2 Peter 1:3-4, the Bible says, “Through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may partake of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world.” Jesus said in Mat. 28:18, “All authority has been given Me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations… and lo, I am with you till the end of the world.” In Luke 10:19, Jesus says, “Behold, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” We have all of heaven on our side and the authority to assault all that hell throws at us so we can victoriously act on the vision and purpose given to us. All of this combined together allows us to be able to run our race to victory. This is why we can succeed as believers in the calling of the race that has been set before us.
Believers, there is so much more to say on this topic. We need to continually speak on these principles as we move forward toward the goal. We are here to win the race set before us. We are called to run alongside each other as we encourage and strengthen each other as we run side by side. Let’s run in such a way that we, together, step into glory with a victory shout that honors the blood that was shed and the calling for which we have. We are one body made up of many individuals, and we are all called to win, not just separately, but together as one.