Running toward the Goal
It is important for everyone to have goals.
Philippians 3:14 tells us this,
“So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Messiah Yeshua to the life above.”
When we set goals in our lives then we must do just that, run straight toward the goal to win. But our goal in life should not be to gain wealth or power or prestige. I know that, that is what we are told by the world that we should do in life, but we are not to be part of the world. In Yeshua’s prayer to the Father He says in John 17:14–16, “ I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I am not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them away from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
This was Yeshua’s prayer before His suffering and dying. Now I ask you, “Shouldn’t we fulfil Yeshua’s prayer?” This was Yeshua’s goal that we would not be part of this world. He died for our sins, not so that we can continue sinning.
Romans 6:1-7 tells us, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? Far from it! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Messiah Yeshua have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as the Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for the one who has died is freed from sin.”
Phillipians 3:7-11 also says this,
“But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss because of Messiah. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Messiah Yeshua, my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Messiah and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Messiah , the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
So how do we run toward the goal that Messiah has set for us?
First, we have to let go of the world. 1John 2:15-17 tells us, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever.”
If the goal post keeps moving then how can you ever reach it? That is exactly what the world is doing. It is always moving the goal post. You can never win with the world, but God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He never changes, His Word never changes. The road to God is narrow, the world’s road is wide. How wide is wide? You don’t know because the world’s rules keep changing. Today , what we called one thing is no longer called by that name. We now have gender neutral names. We no longer have an accurate rendering of our history. We have one thing after another being canceled. We have the meaning of things changing almost every day. We have an uncertain society in which we live where whatever fits the narrative today may not fit it tomorrow. Today you’re in, tomorrow you’re out. But God is not like this. You know where you stand with God because His Commandment have never changed. There is only one way to God. The world tells us that there are many roads to God, but this is not true. God makes it clear that the only way to the Father is through His Son Yeshua. Thomas was confused, but Yeshua told him this in John 14:-6,
“Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; how do we know the way?” Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Today, if you are confused, lost, or you want to get on the right road, all you have to do is let go of the world and pick up the Word of God and it will lead you on the path that leads to life.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
This is what God told Joshua when he led the people in Joshua 1:7-8,
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
There it is, the way to run the race and reach the goal. The Book of the Law is simply God’s Word. It’s not going to change. The route won’t change. The rules won’t change. God will not change. You have a straight path to the goal if you follow Yeshua, for He is the way, the truth and the life, or the way to life is through the truth of Messiah, for He is the Word of God. And if you think you need help. God took care of that as John 1:26-27 tells us,
“I will send you the Helper[from the Father. The Helper is the Spirit of truth[b] who comes from the Father. When he comes, he will tell about me. And you will tell people about me too, because you have been with me from the beginning.”
And for those who do not deviate, but reach the goal, this is what it says, in
James 1:12-14, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because,having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
And again in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is reserved 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 loved His appearing.”
Does everyone have their road map in hand, the Word of God? Does everyone have their Helper, their Guide, the Holy Spirit with them? Then let’s run the race set before us as Hebrews 12:1-3 tells us,
“Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Yeshua, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Yeshua ran the race and He won and now we are to follow Him. Let us pick up our cross and crucify our flesh (to the world) and follow Yeshua. He has given us everything we need unto life as 2 Peter 1-8 tells us.
“To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Yeshua our Lord, for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Through these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they do not make you useless nor unproductive in the true knowledge of our Lord Messiah Yeshua. For the one who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choice of you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Messiah Yeshua will be abundantly supplied to you.”
I think we are seeing clearer and clearer the goal set before us. Yes, the race has obstacles, but they can be overcome. How? 1 John 5:3-5 says, “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Yeshua is the Son of God.”
Yeshua, the Way to Life, overcame so that we too, can overcome the world.
John 16:33 tells us this of Yeshua, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
So we have a great cloud of witnesses to cheer us on as we run the race, to reach the goal, to receive the prize of eternal life and wear the crown of righteousness.
And this is what the finish line will look like as Revelation 21:9-10 tells us,
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”’
What a race! There is always a thrill to the race, the excitement, the victory, it is all worth the effort. But this race will have a prize like no other race, for it is an eternal prize, it is for the kingdom of Heaven.
“Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. So they do it to obtain a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” (1 Corinthians 9:25)
See you at the finish line!