Pattern and Principles: Enduring till the End
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
2 Tim. 4-8 (NIV)
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Our journey on earth has a start date (conception, not birth) and an end date (separation of our soul/spirit from current earthly body). Timeline is not what matters on this journey, rather achieving one’s purpose, although aging before death is generally seen as a good thing. Purposes are not always big stuff, it could be as simple as parenting.
According to the Bible, our purposes are pre-ordained before we even start the journey, for some it is known, for others (or most) it is unknown and when we follow the path of Christ then it is discovered (those who don’t follow Christ would end up somewhere, just might not be what was intended or it is where God’s enemy intended).
There are THREE huge obstacles on human journey through Earth – Satan/Demons, World system and Human sinful nature. All three connive, to ensure humans don’t follow or have intimacy with God through Christ. Satan and demons using schemes directly through our minds.
Satan and demons using other humans, creating institutions (media, entertainment, religious, education, economic, family structure, etc.) that espouses principles that negate Gods, but seem good to human. Human sinful nature is when we don’t know or ignore God’s Truth enough, to reject demons and the world’s half-truths.
The Good News is that we have YUUUGE help, God’s written Word (the Bible), the name of JESUS, and God’s Spirit (aka Holy Spirit). Both Satan/Demons bow to the name JESUS when invoked with the right authority. The Word [God] gives us weapons to fight our way through the journey and the Holy Spirit empowers us for the journey.
When as humans we are pursuing God’s earthly purpose for us (not our own agenda), then we are bound to have spiritual and human (used by the spiritual) opposition, hence the need for endurance. God also allows us to face some of these battles (He already won the war) so we can grow emotionally and spiritually, in my opinion – also to keep us close to Him (a child stays close to Mama when the mean dog in the neighborhood lurks around).
We are not to fear ANY of the obstacles, we are to know them and deploy our (spiritual) weapons in defeating them. Our weapons include “absolute surrender to God”, “a life of Holiness, Faith, Faithfulness and Obedience”, “knowing God’s Truth”, and others as written in the Bible.
It is my prayer that YOU and I will not grow weary on this journey and quit halfway (for whatever reason), rather we will have the grace to be bold and courageous, running a good race and enduring till the end, with the goal that our Heavenly Father will be glorified because our lives and we’ll hear “well done, faithful servant” on the other side.