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"... Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:1,2).

In the community where I live, many local organizations sponsor annual 5K and 10K races in which experienced and inexperienced runners can compete for a good cause. If I were watching one of those races, I could tell you after the first few minutes who will end up in front and who will bring up the rear.

Usually, the people who fall to the rear are the ones who are out there running just to be running. They're looking around at everything, horse-playing with one another, grumbling, complaining, and even walking partway through the race. But it's the runners who are more focused who eventually finish in the lead.

It's not hard to spot a focused runner. He doesn't care what the other fellow is doing behind him or alongside him. He's not looking around to see who's watching him from the sidelines. No, he's looking straight ahead because he has a goal he's reaching for, and he is determined to make it to the finish line!

I used to run the 100-yard dash on my track team in high school, and I know how important it is to stay focused in a race. I once saw a guy lose his event because his girlfriend yelled out his name from the grandstands and distracted him from his goal - the finish line. But from the time I would leave the starting blocks until the moment I'd cross the finish line, I'd fix my eyes way down the track and keep looking straight ahead at the goal before me. I knew if I looked around, it could cost me the race.

The Apostle Paul talked about our running the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus (Heb. 12:2). You see, we are running a race - the race of life - and what we focus on will determine how we finish.

We can't afford to look at other people alongside us who are running their race. We can't allow ourselves to be distracted by the crowd of problems and circumstances that call out for our attention. We can't let the devil and his lies trick us into taking our eyes off the goal and cause us to lose our race. No, we have to keep looking at Jesus. As long as we keep our eyes on Him, we will finish our course!

So how are you running your race? What are you looking at? I want to encourage you to develop the same kind of determination in life that the track runner has out on the field. Stay focused. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Keep your eyes on the Word. Strive to reach the goals that lie before you, and don't let anything distract you.

Grit your teeth, set your jaw, and run with the attitude, "I've started out to run life's race for God, and I'm not letting up until I finish!" Then just keep your eyes on Jesus because He is the Author and the Finisher of your faith!

Source: From a Pastor's Heart by Kenneth E. Hagin. Jr.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth W. Hagin
Web site: Kenneth Hagin Ministries
Kenneth W. Hagin, President of Kenneth Hagin Ministries and pastor of RHEMA Bible Church, ministers around the world. Known for calling the Body of Christ to steadfast faith, he seizes every ministry opportunity to impart an attitude of “I cannot be defeated, and I will not quit.”

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