Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father. To whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah, Galatians 1:3-7, HSCB.
I am a “run for the t-shirt” kind of gal. I will not ever win one of the events I run, but I enjoy going out and training to be able to finish a race and accomplish a fitness goal. I have done many races, read many books about running, and even had a running coach for awhile, but nothing prepared me for what I saw. It was one of the craziest things I had ever seen as a runner. I opened a running magazine to an article about women who run a 5 kilometer race in stiletto heels! Pictures confirmed that they had actually done it, and there was an explanation of the rules and some training tips for running such a race.
All I could think was, “Why?” Why would someone put themselves through the agony of running in such a race? Why would they put all that pressure and agony on their feet? Why would they even consider doing such a crazy race?
Spiritually, some of us do the same thing. We start out the race well—we are awe-struck by the love and grace of God, and we are grateful for His undeserved mercy. We give ourselves completely to His hand—we trust and we follow. But, somewhere along the way, we “turn away” as our passage says today. We turn to a different gospel—even though there is no such thing. We think we can impress God with our works. We get caught up in legalistic traditions instead of Holy Spirit leading. Or, we become satisfied with our blessings instead of thanking the One who blessed. We start down a spiritual path we were never meant to travel. We train hard to run a race we weren’t meant to run. And it hurts. We get weary when we try to work through our flesh. Our spiritual training gets side-tracked when we focus on man-made methods that don’t work. We get bogged down when we don’t follow the plan God intended. We need to remember that our race is God-planned, and He knows the basics—knowing His Word, spending time with Him in prayer, gratefulness, following His leading, dependence on Him, and giving Him the glory—are the proven training methods for the spiritually fit!
Thought-provoker: Are you running a crazy spiritual race, or are you listening to the Master Trainer, Jesus Christ?
Lord, I need to run the race You have for me to run. Please don’t allow traditions or things to side-track a race well-run for the Lord of my life! Amen.