Running the Race: Staying on Track

Lane Violation

Psa 119:105 Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.
Psa 119:106 I will keep my solemn promise to obey your just instructions.

Psalms 119: 105-106

The Rules of the Race

The Track and Field athletes know the rules of their sport. They know just how tough and strict the new False Start rule is (and we’ll discuss it fully eventually), they know about having to stay relaxed to reach maximum speed. They have their starting blocks set up exactly how they like it each time so they can drive out of the ready position. They also know that they have to stay in their assigned lanes especially in the shorter sprints, and at the start of races up to 800 meters.

There are plenty of good reasons to stay in your lane the most obvious being that it’s the one you were assigned to run in, and moving into a more inside lane though making the race shorter would result in disqualification. It also increases the chance of interference between runners and the possibility of tripping, falls and collisions. If someone ever were to pull a muscle in front of you you’d be very glad they kept to their assigned lane.

On the sprints you keep in your lane it’s as simple as that.

The Race of Life Seems Different

The Race of life seems very different it almost seems like a relay race. In the 4 by 400 meter relay the teams start out in assigned lanes (based on qualifying times), they have to sprint in their assigned lanes for approximately one half lap before they are allowed to break for the inside lane. When they come around to hand the baton to their teammate if the race is close the runners can be spread out over multiple lanes. Who after they hand over the baton, (if it goes well) are allowed to return to the inside lane immediately, to continue racing along the shortest track.

In reality the Race of Life is more like a long and arduous cross-country race and if run correctly it is difficult but ultimately rewarding. However some people seem to confuse this cross-country race with a Marathon or even better yet a Triathlon.

You know you get baptized, then you pedal hell bent for leather away from sin, and then you run like the dickens away from the Devil who is in hot pursuit and if you’re lucky you might just make it to the end of the race.

He Who Dies with the Most Toys Etc.

Sometimes there are huge cash prizes for the winners of races. Other times there’s a brand new vehicle up for the top man and women of the marathon, and other times it’s a combination of both. I know, you’re all going to start training for marathons now aren’t you! However all joking aside no matter how many earthly accolades you get, you do not get to take it all with you when you die. In comparison to eternity we spend very little time actually living life as physical beings, and during that time we are being bombarded, (especially now) with the perspective that it’s all about me. And it’s all about having fun, getting cool stuff, drinking and partying, and living life out loud and out of control. There are no moral absolutes it’s up to you to set your own. To put it very clearly and bluntly Satan has taken the three-letter word SIN and turned it into another three-letter word FUN!

Now before you freak out I’m not saying all the fun things are Sin, but Satan has disguised ALL Sin as Fun!

You can have plenty of good wholesome fun; walking on the beach, surfing, writing a poem and studying the Word of God can all be fun.

However while people may tell you pre-marital sex is fun it is in fact SIN.

While people may tell you that calling people derogatory names or racial slurs is fun it is actually SIN.

Cheating on tests, application forms or taxes is fun right? No it’s SIN.

And if Satan is not trying to label things fun he’s trying to encourage that equality in all things is FINE when it’s still in fact SIN.

Homosexuality is not FINE it’s SIN for instance.

How The World Finds Itself Off Course

I’m simply going to quote from the book of Romans in this section I shouldn’t need to explain anything here it’s very clear and honest:

Rom 1:18 God’s anger is revealed from heaven against all the sin and evil of the people whose evil ways prevent the truth from being known. God punishes them, because what can be known about God is plain to them, for God himself made it plain. Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made. So those people have no excuse at all! They know God, but they do not give him the honor that belongs to him, nor do they thank him. Instead, their thoughts have become complete nonsense, and their empty minds are filled with darkness.
They say they are wise, but they are fools; instead of worshiping the immortal God, they worship images made to look like mortals or birds or animals or reptiles. And so God has given those people over to do the filthy things their hearts desire, and they do shameful things with each other. They exchange the truth about God for a lie; they worship and serve what God has created instead of the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever! Amen.

Because they do this, God has given them over to shameful passions. Even the women pervert the natural use of their sex by unnatural acts. In the same way the men give up natural sexual relations with women and burn with passion for each other. Men do shameful things with each other, and as a result they bring upon themselves the punishment they deserve for their wrongdoing. Because those people refuse to keep in mind the true knowledge about God, he has given them over to corrupted minds, so that they do the things that they should not do. They are filled with all kinds of wickedness, evil, greed, and vice; they are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, deceit, and malice. They gossip and speak evil of one another; they are hateful to God, insolent, proud, and boastful; they think of more ways to do evil; they disobey their parents; they have no conscience; they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or pity for others. They know that God’s law says that people who live in this way deserve death. Yet, not only do they continue to do these very things, but also they even approve of others who do them.

Romans 1: 18-32

To Get Back On Track or Remain On Track

The above is very sad isn’t it God has let humans become totally depraved and full of sin because they are determined NOT to acknowledge that He is the Creator of all things. However there are plenty of not too subtle hints that we’re off track designed to get us back on course, to finish the race correctly and win the ultimate prize eternal life with our Creator God in Heaven.

Take Note of the Ten Commandments

Exo 20:2 “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you were slaves.
Exo 20:3 “Worship no god but me.
Exo 20:4 “Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth.
Exo 20:5 Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, because I am the LORD your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation.
Exo 20:6 But I show my love to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey my laws.
Exo 20:7 “Do not use my name for evil purposes, for I, the LORD your God, will punish anyone who misuses my name.
Exo 20:8 “Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 You have six days in which to do your work,
Exo 20:10 but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me. On that day no one is to work—neither you, your children, your slaves, your animals, nor the foreigners who live in your country.
Exo 20:11 In six days I, the LORD, made the earth, the sky, the seas, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That is why I, the LORD, blessed the Sabbath and made it holy.
Exo 20:12 “Respect your father and your mother, so that you may live a long time in the land that I am giving you.
Exo 20:13 “Do not commit murder.
Exo 20:14 “Do not commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 “Do not steal.
Exo 20:16 “Do not accuse anyone falsely.
Exo 20:17 “Do not desire another man’s house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns.”

See this list…good luck keeping it. In fact this list of Commandments was not designed for us to try and keep them. Keeping them is impossible; you cannot keep these Commandments because as a human you were born a sinner.

You can try as hard as you want but you will get more and more frustrated by your failure to succeed in keeping these commandments. Many religions will tell you if you don’t keep these commandments you’re in serious trouble, in fact they’ll teach you that you’re LOST.

That’s not the case the Ten Commandments are there not to be kept but to prove that it is impossible for us to keep them even for one second. They are there to point out that the only way to be saved from our sin is to turn to one person.

Jesus Messiah, God in Man

Jesus was born of the woman’s seed, in other words Jesus is the only human to be born of a woman’s seed alone. The Holy Spirit and Mary’s seed created a sinless person, Jesus Christ; God in man and He lived a sinless life so that He could be crucified on the Cross as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.

My Sins nailed Jesus to that Cross, your sins nailed Jesus to that Cross, everyone’s Sins (even those who don’t believe in God) all our Sins nailed Jesus, God in man, to the Cross.

God the Son was set apart before creation to come to this Earth to save us from our sins. Because only a perfect sinless life can cover for a wholly sinful life. Only perfection can cover our imperfection. Only through God the Son’s sacrifice can we gain the gift of eternal life by grace through faith.

Just to clarify:

“I am the bread of life.” –Jesus Christ (John 6:48)
“I am the light of the world.” –Jesus Christ (John 8:12, 9:5)
“I am the good shepherd.” –Jesus Christ (John 10: 11,14)
“I am the resurrection and the life.” –Jesus Christ (John 11:25)
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the father except by me.” –Jesus Christ (John 14:6)

Once You’ve Repented…Get Into the Rule Book

Once God the Holy Spirit is in you it is key that you let Him lead you in your studies, and when you let Him lead your studies you need to let go of all preconceptions. You truly are like a newborn child, the Lord knows just the right pace to reveal His word to you, and it’s not always going to be easy.

When I began the long process of separating myself from Religion to Relationship I struggled awesomely with the Holy Spirit about letting go of certain beliefs. I was one stubborn baby, I wanted to hold onto what I felt safe and secure with, it was like having a favorite blankey I would not let go of at all!

Psa 119:105 Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.
Psa 119:106 I will keep my solemn promise to obey your just instructions.

I had to trust that my Creator and God knew His word, that seems about as silly as it looks right now. I mean Hello- “In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

You can trust God; the Holy Spirit will not get confused about how He’s leading you through the Word. He knows what you can take and how much of it you can process, he knows when to speed up and when to slow down.

So study the Word of God, and meet your Creator God whenever you need to in prayer, He loves to hear from you and he’s always available.

Two Final Reminders

These are two final key points to keep in mind as you run the race.

With the help of the Holy Spirit you should find yourself on the Narrow and rough path, that is the right one. God doesn’t promise that the Christian walk will be easy, but He does promise to always walk right alongside us.

“Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it.

Mat 7:14 But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.”

Matthew 7: 13-14

The other thing that is promised is that when the Christian walk/run/ultra-marathon gets long and difficult and you feel like no matter how much of the living water you take on you just don’t have the strength to continue, this is God’s awesome promise.

But he replied, “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am.
2Co 12:10 Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

Your Coach is your Savior, Your Savior is your Judge, Your Judge is your Creator.

Do not rely on yourself to be able to stay on track, you can’t do it, and you’ll be disqualified. And trust me you don’t want to be disqualified.

Trust your Coach and Grow Up in Christ by devouring the Rule Book you will be glad you did and I promise that while the going may be tough you will stay on track and finish the race and you will win the prize.

In Christ,

Ross

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