We had on the first Sunday of the year a lady stood up in Shoreline Church in Southport with a prophecy. She said "this is the year where we have to leave our suitcases behind". God's called us not to walk or jog, but to "run the race set before us and lay aside every weight" (Hebrews 11). Towards the end of Hebrews 11 Paul says, And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
In light of what we've been given in Christ we should not hold back in running the race that's been set before us. We should be living espistles being known and read by all men, being lights in the darkness. As we start this new year, lets reflect on what might be holding us back from running at full speed. Maybe it is something in our human nature that needs addressing, maybe it is persistent sin, maybe it is habits or something practical we need to address. We are the servants of Christ, and what we have committed ourselves to serving him, so its really important to take stock and carefully examine our lives and ask, are we serving him to the best of our ability? We're not running a sprint but we're running a marathon, and when we get to the end, we want our Lord to say "well done, good and faithful servant."
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)