Choose… not to Cruise!

Choose… not to Cruise!

by Rev. Steven James

 

I thought it would be good to take a look at how we’re living out our faith. Are you choosing to cruise along or are you giving it everything you’ve got?

Running is used repeatedly as a picture of our Christian life in God’s Word. Three key passages, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 3:12-14 and Hebrews 12:1-2, should lead us to ask ourselves:

 

Am I running to win?

The Christian life is anything but a casual stroll. While many have been saved through the power of the Gospel, Paul encourages us to have the attitude that this life is a race and only one can win the prize. This doesn’t mean that we forget God’s principles just so we can win, but that we seek to have a winner’s passion as we race. We are to run with certainty and connect with our punches.

 

Am I disciplining myself?

We may be pretty good at being a disciple of Jesus. But what about being disciplined? Winning doesn’t come easy or without sacrifice. There are things that we either need to control, let go of entirely, or bring into our lives in order to run a winning race. If this type of attitude is expected in a natural, earthly race, how much more so for the supernatural, heavenly race that we’ve been called to run?

 

Do I think I’ve “arrived” or do I keep pressing on?

Paul encourages us by his own example to never think we’ve “arrived,” or that we’ve got this race in the bag. We are to keep keeping on with the strength that God gives us. Remember the pride of the hare and the perseverance of the tortoise in the classic story?

 

Am I gripped by why Jesus grabbed a hold of me?

Maybe we give up the “pursuit” of the prize because God’s saving grace doesn’t amaze us anymore. Perhaps we need to take time to let God’s goodness, grace and the goal of why He saved us grip us with renewed strength.

 

Am I focused on what’s in front of me?

You can’t run forward very well if you’re always looking backward. You’ll either trip and fall flat on your face or you’ll grow weary of all the effort – perhaps even stopping the race altogether. You will steer towards what you stare at.

 

Do I have anyone cheering me on?

Running the race should be done with others who believe in us and want to see us “win.” In addition, like the “Hall of Faith” of Hebrews 11, we should keep before us vivid examples of others who have “run and won” to inspire us.

 

What “weight” do I need to get rid of?

To be able to run right we need to run light. There may be “clothing” of conduct and character that we need to shed. There may be a wide variety of burdens that we’ve chosen to carry. There may be pounds of hurtful attitudes that we’ve gained over the years. Whatever hinders our pace needs to be “shed.”

 

What will trip me up?

Sin is sneaky. It can be like a tree root, small rock or a hole along life’s path that causes us to stumble. What do you need to watch out for or remove from the course so you can run freely?

 

Do I have a sprinter’s or a marathoner’s mindset?

Endurance. Our attitude toward the race should be one of being in it for the long haul. It’s the mother of all marathons. In order to make it, all of the previous questions need to be addressed, as well as this final one.

 

Am I focused on Jesus?

When it comes to the biggest motivation to run this “marathon,” ultimately we need Jesus. Having Him personally in our lives will bring about the positive answers we need for all of the preceding questions when it comes to running this race. In Him we are more than winners (Romans 8:37)!

 

Let’s choose not to cruise when it comes to the Christian life. Let’s be “in it to win it!”

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