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"ARE YOU RUNNING THE RIGHT RACE OR THE RAT RACE?"
Heb 12: 1,2
1Therefore, 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, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our 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.
E. The Bible describes the Christian life in some interesting ways:
* As on a boat trip across a great sea.
* As a sheep being led by a shepherd.
* As a soldier going to war.
* As a walk but also -
* As a race. (but as a very special kind of race)
I have used running for years as a form of exercise as well as enjoyment. I love going out and just running. However this is not a message that is promoting physical running. When you run - you are alone with your own thought and it is a wonderful time to meditate. I memorize Scripture when I run. I also quote the runners prayer which is found in Isa. 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
So, knowing that the Bible had much to say about running - I begin to pray that God would give me the Spiritual lesson about running the Spiritual race that you can learn from the physical comparison.
T/S LET ME SHARE WITH YOU 8 WONDERFUL TRUTHS THAT GOD TAUGHT ME ABOUT RUNNING THE SPIRITUAL RACE WHILE RUNNING PHYSICALLY - AND THEN BY VERIFYING THOSE THUTHS BY THE WORD OF GOD.
I. RUN IN THE BEST RACE:
2 Tim 2:5Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.
Thus my title: "Are you running in the rat race or the right race?" Run a legitimate race: You are running in some race. You are either running in the rat race of the right race. The choice is not to run or not to run. The choice is what race are you going to run in.
Remember this, if you win the rat race – all you are is still a rat.
II. YOU MUST WALK BEFORE YOU RUN.
Example of walking.
Physical running is something we have all done. However, we had to walk before we could run.
Gal. 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
III. RUN LIGHT. (let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us,
Those who train for big races puts on weights on their legs and around their waist. The day of the race that take them off so they will run lighter.
We are to lay aside that particular sin that so easily entangles us. What is your entangling sin??
IV. RUN ANYWHERE.
Go ye into the hiways and hedges . . .
You can run anywhere. In the big city - on a country road - on a track - on a tread mill (boring).
You can go out your front door and run. You don’t need any special equipment. Not basketball where you have to have hoops and a court. It not racket ball that requires a special room - it is not tennis that requires a court and special rackets.
IT IS NOT GOLF - that require a 400.00 driver and a special set of irons and an expensive golf course. (Tiger Woods is hitting the new Nike Irons) However he could tie a pan to the end of a stick and hit the ball better than I can.
Running require you to go and run. Just do it. You would want a good pair of running shoes but after that all you have to do is run.
See, there is no - Well I am not in the right place to run for God - or I don’t have the right equipment to run the race that God wants me to run, or if I was only on the mission field. You can run out your front door and be in the running race that God has called you to run.
V. RUN ENCOURAGED.
(great cloud of witnesses)
Isa 40:31 But they that wait (anticipates) upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Running requires you to draw from an inner strength. You have to reach down deep inside of you and find a power that is not of the body. The same is true when you run the Spiritual race. You must allow God to renew - to help you mount up - to keep you from being weary - to keep you from fainting.
You can’t listen to the flesh nature when you run. It will say, "Hey, this is hurting - you need to stop - What’s wrong with you - can’t you feel your muscle aching? You are breathing to hard - Listen stupid - You know that you can’t run for a solid hour with stopping. But, after about a mile (the second wind) you begin to relax and enjoy the run and you quit hurting. The first time I run a mile, I was so excited – I had ran a whole mile.
It is true about running the race that God has called us to run. The flesh nature will tell you. You can’t run this race! What’s wrong with you?
VI. RUN WITH ENDURANCE. (with patience)
This is not a sprint that God has called you to run. It is a marathon. You must keep running until you finish the goal line. I think the Special Olympics are wonderful. They have it set up that if they finish the race - THEY WIN. That is what kind of race God has each of us in - it is a Special Olympic. We must race until we cross the finish line.
You are not running against others - you are racing with yourself and for God. If you keep running until you finish the course you will win the race.
Paul said it best:
2 Tim. 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 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.
VII. RUN TO WIN. (let us (individually
All of you run so as to win). You will say, That is impossible. Only one can win a race. No, No all can win who runs with patience.
1 Cor 9:24 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.
ECC. 9:11 I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and opportunity overtake them all.
VIII. RUN FOR THE GOAL. (looking unto Jesus)
CENTRAL BAPTIST CHURCH
PASTOR: Larry Jacobs