Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Our faith is not a spectator sport! Our faith is not an accessory which we add on to our lives in order to round out our social image. When we become children of God’s kingdom, through our faith in Jesus, God wants us to participate in His kingdom work. We know in our western world we can tend to make religion an accessory, something which we add to our lives in order to round them out and make them more complete. However, God never intended it to be that way. Moreover, many places around the world today, do not view religion in that manner and neither did the cultures of ancient Israel and Judah. The cloud of witnesses spoken of here, are those who loved God, lived by faith and submitted to His guidance as He used them for His kingdom work. And because of their faith, they are remembered here in God’s word. What this means for us, is that we are not called by God to just read about their faith so we can admire their work, but we are called to do likewise. Their lives are an example for us to follow! Their lives are an admonition to us, as we are called by God to read about their faith and study how they lived their lives for the Lord.
And we do so, in order that we too would be inspired to lead our lives by submitting to God’s daily guidance through the Holy Spirit who indwells all followers of Jesus. We are called to submit ourselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, just as they had done. We have to remember when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are not only accepting His sacrifice made for us on the Cross of Calvary. We are also accepting Him as our Lord, our Savior and the Master of our life. As Christians, we recognize Jesus for who He is, that is the eternal God of Heaven who stepped out of eternity and took on humanity. Jesus paid the price for our sins, once for all times, this means we are not our own! Our adoption into the family of God came at a price, which Jesus paid for us on the cross. And as we read the Bible, we are provided with the testimony of godly witnesses, that a life lived by faith is not only possible, but a more abundant life awaits all those who follow Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit, we become a blessing to those who are lost, a blessing to those around us and a blessing to the kingdom of God. Therefore, our response to their witness is to lay aside our worldly desires and run with endurance, the race God has set before us. And as we do, Jesus is faithful to perfect our faith, strengthen us with godly perseverance and along the way fill us with His joy.