Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: 3 Similarities between the Pace Car of the Indy 500 and the Holy Spirit.

Last week we began talking about discovering and using our resources in our series on Dealing with Stress. We examined how God is primary resource for dealing with and eliminating stress. We looked together are two primary passages, Psalm 61:1-3 and Psalm 62:5-8. Both of these passages speak of the Lord being a Rock…an immovable, unchangeable, having strength beyond us, ability to protect and guard us. These are all essentials when we are stressed out and experiencing anxiety. Today we are going to talk specifically about following the Lord as we deal with stress.

You know, here in Indianapolis there are three famous loops. First, there is 465, right? Pretty much every major city not on one our national’s coasts has an interstate that circles the city. Here in Indy we are no exception. One can jump on 465 and drive from one side of town to the other, from one suburb to the other, all within a matter of minutes because of the loop it makes around our city. Secondly, there is Monument Circle. The center of downtown Indy; people who visit here seemingly always go visit the Circle, especially during the Christmas season when the lights are on it is decorated for Christmas festivities. Third, the most famous loop in the world, one which over 300,000 people will be visiting today – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; the most famous 2.5 miles in the entire world.

There are many comparisons to our lives and today’s race. The chaos that surrounds the Speedway the night before the race is off the charts. You’ve got people singing and dancing, drinking and vomiting their alcohol, people doing drugs, making love in the streets, grilling and sharing their food with complete strangers, people getting lost and separated from their family, people getting arrested, getting beat up…you name it, you never know what is going to happen up at 16th and Georgetown Rds. All of these events are centered around one event – the Indianapolis 500. The race is known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” It is a field of 33 drivers from all over the world, trying for one thing…a giant wreath and a big glass of milk (plus the several million dollars they win for winning the race). In the race, the cars zoom around the track topping 225 MPH at times. All it takes is one minor error and there is MASSIVE damage done to cars and drivers. During the race there are countless variables and unpredictable things, however, there is ONE consistent and absolute about the race. Anyone know what it is? It isn’t the crowd, they change ever year, it certainly isn’t the weather, it isn’t the military flyover, it isn’t the cars of the drivers. It is the Pace Car.

Ephesians 5:25 says, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” In other word, if we are Christians we should be yielding the Holy Spirit. OR, BECAUSE we are Christians, we should be yielding every aspect of our lives to the Spirit of God.

There are three parallels between the Holy Spirit and the Pace Car.

The Pace Car:

1. Keep the drivers on the path.

At the beginning of the race, the pace car will travel 3-5 times around the track with the 33 cars behind it. After a few laps of showing the drivers where to go and making sure the cars are warmed up, the Pace Car pulls off, the drivers are given the green flag to begin the race. The drivers MUST stay within the boundaries of the track; stay on the path which the Pace Car led them.

So it is with us a Christians, we MUST stay of the path that the Holy Spirit has lead us and given us. God has given us His Word, the Bible. The Holy Spirit will NEVER lead us into something contrary or contradictory to His Word. He will never lead us to do something that Jesus wouldn’t do. One of the worst mistakes a driver in the Indy 500 can make is to turn right. IF she or she turns right, or she will very quickly be met with a concrete wall. Just as the drivers must stay on the path the Pace Car sets the path for the race, we too must stay of the path the Holy Spirit leads us on.

2. Keeps the Driver in Position.

While the Pace Car is on the track, passing it or other cars is not allowed. The faster, more experienced drivers are usually at the front of the pack, while the slower and less-experienced drivers in near the back. During the race when there is an accident, the Pacer Car returns to the track to lead the remaining field until the emergency and clean up crews can complete what they need to do. During that time, if the crash or debris, is low on the track, the Pace Car will lead the field high and close to the wall to avoid the dangers on track. If the oil spill, brake line, tire fragments, or crashed car in against the wall, the Pace Car will lead the field low to avoid the dangerous area. So it is with the Holy Spirit. He positions us in our walk with Him to avoid the dangers in our path by leading and guiding us around them to safety, until the area is clear and safe again.

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