Monday, July 21, 2014

See You at the Finish Line!

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24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9)

When I left Facebook, a young God-lover who was serving the Lord in Mexico on a summer mission trip bid me farewell:

See you at the finish line!

Eric knows that we're on the same team and that we should both be focused on the race.  There's no time to get distracted by the world - the finish line should be the only thing in our sights.  Paul knew that it was possible to set out on the race and stumble...to get distracted.  Like the writer of Hebrews, he knew the importance of single focus:

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Hebrews 12)

It's not just that we can lose sight of the finish line.  The evil one lurks about seeking to distract us or even to disable us.  Take two minutes to check out an inspiring story...and be reminded of what our response should be to setbacks in the spiritual race.






I have fallen flat on my face in this race.  Satan has tripped me numerous times, and on occasion, I have gone down with a thud.  Any of us who have been in the race for long have been so derailed by the evil one.  

Sometimes, though, we see someone go down in a race - even The Race - and they don't get back in the race.  Some lay on the track in agony.  Some limp off the track in shame and defeat.  No one likes that more than Satan.  The great crowd of witnesses cheers, "get up...get back in the race..." 


And the evil one snickers.


He was a preacher when he ran off with the church secretary - his youngest daughter passing away in his absence from an undiagnosed heart condition.  He attends church now, some 30 years later - the secretary having left him for another man.  He sits in the back and doesn't talk to anyone...slipping in and out without much interaction with the rest of "the team."

Satan deluded her into thinking that the grass was greener.  After divorcing, remarrying, and divorcing her first husband, she married three more times in short order.  Now she is sidelined, watching the race.

His wife, who led him to Christ when they were dating, left him in a flurry of expensive and embarrassing lawsuits intended to decimate his livelihood, if not his life.  He didn't limp off the field; he stormed off - and wants nothing more to do with the team, much less the race. 


Sometimes, failure in the race causes us to forget about the race, but we will all meet at the finish line.  We will all give an answer for how we ran - or didn't run.  We will all fall, the question is, will we get back in the race - and run to win?


For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.  (2 Timothy 4)

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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this lovely post today at somuchathome.blogspot.com. A new link up party was added today as well. It's been great finding your blog through the link up. You have an amazing blog!

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