Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
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, 2 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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12: 1-3 (NLT)
Here’s a question for us today.
What do we believe the race marked out for us looks like? What do you believe it will be—in the long term view of your life? How should you run it?
What do you believe it is for this season? For today?
What do you visualize it to look like? For you, your spouse, or other important person in your life. For your family members, your children and grandchildren. And how do we approach it to be able to run it well?
The writer of the book of Hebrews paints a picture of a race—a grueling race—which we are in. A race which will be challenging, seemingly uphill a lot of the way, running hard to finally get to the end, to the top of the mountain.
And the writer says that we have to persevere. To have an attitude where we fix our eyes on Christ—Who has already run it. To have, in other words, a positive attitude. An attitude which envisions running triumphantly to and through the finish line.
An attitude which recognizes that we have an amazing ability to accomplish whatever our minds tell us we can do. American novelist Henry James told us—“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
Our bodies which have been given to us have talents, size, strength, and abilities—in so many different areas—and we need to prepare them, strengthen them and care for them as the gift God gave us.
But we must also do that with our minds.
Our minds are powerful instruments that can visualize the course for our future—both in the short and long-term. It may be as short as the next jump shot, at bat, or decision at home or the office, and as long as the rest of our days. By fixing our eyes on, by visualizing, all we can do and be—we reinforce the positive attitude for our lives we should have and which we were created to have. And it keeps negative thinking out of our thoughts.
Bill Russell, of Boston Celtics fame, understood the importance of positive as well as negative thinking. “The idea,” he said, “is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot.” He put a bit of doubt into their minds on the court. That way, his opponent would start thinking about getting around him and the possibility of a blocked shot, rather than on simply putting the ball in the basket. He got the opponent to visualize potential failure—rather than success and victory.
Whatever we tend to think, will often end up being the outcome of any given situation. Whatever we visualize will happen—often will. It’s the law—which I believe is real—of “self-fulfilling prophecies.” Whatever you visualize, whatever you expect—that expectation, whether of success or of failure, will often prove to happen.
So visualize what you want to happen. It’s a scriptural direction from the writer of Hebrews, and so many other passages in God’s Word, all writings inspired by God.
Fix your eyes on the One who ran the grueling race before you—and succeeded—and is along with so many others, cheering you on. Believe in what you want to happen—and then no matter what—move on and believe again.
And remember this written by the Apostle Paul about the One—Christ— who already ran the race before us—“God showed His love for us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
In other words Paul is saying—“While we were still messed up, making bad decisions and mistakes, planning to do all the wrong the things for our lives rather than visualizing victory—it remains true that Christ still came and died on the cross and rose for you and for me.
Why? Because He loves us.”
Now with that, what do you suppose He wants us to believe in and visualize for the rest of our lives? Starting with now!
Defeat? Or Victory? Seems pretty clear to me.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2017. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.