God has His children in a daily race.
Remember the story of the rabbit and the turtle as a child?
I do remember it and when I was born from above, that early childhood story began to mean more to me. Let me explain:
When I read in the Word of God this verse it clicked in me:
1 Corinthians 9:24 - Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
Apostle Paul is NOT talking about a physical race as he tells us physical exercise matters little.
1 Tim 4:8
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
What true saints are in is a daily spiritual race for the Kingdom of God leading eternal life at the end, for those who endure to it. It is all because of what Christ has done for us in His blood and resurrection. ( see John 3, 2 Cor 5, Matthew 24, 1 Cor 15, Heb 10 and James 1)
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us
Once born from above by the gospel (see it below) we are to pick up our cross daily and strive/run a race for the kingdom of God in obedience for God's glory. We have no excuse as He has given us the Word (John 17:17) and the Spirit (John 16) so it is our reasonable service for Him. (See Romans 12)
It would do us all well to note we are in a marathon NOT a sprint as that children's story very well illustrates. We must be ready to run daily for many years if the Lord lets us live on.
We see two main scenarios in people as we do ministry:
1) We have seen so many claimed born again saints get all worked up at the very start and they study, witness, even start a ministry in a zealous fast sprint. (usually its fleshly) But as the race grinds on, they fall back, get bored or lazy or idle and slip away into old sins or the world. They are sprinting but not running a daily biblical faith marathon for the long haul and they will fail.
I see it happen all the time.
2) Most religious people are in the slumber of American Churchianity not running a race at all. They are trained to attend dead religious ways that keep them standing still or sitting really. They are asleep at the faith wheel, barely walking daily not striving but sitting in a pew and headed for a great fall and judgement from God. (see Matthew 7)
Most are not born of God at all so we warn them to repent.
We believe the remedy for the sprint failing issue or dead religion is to wake up, repent, examine yourself (2 Cor 13:5) to the gospel, then set a course that is steadfast, persistent, disciplined daily. Be set on holiness, heaven and Christ; not mans religion, this world or the flesh. (see Col 3:2 and Romans 8) There is no easy answer as in a race you have to start, you have to endure on the way and as Paul says, you MUST finish.
Why do people think it is all done for them already? It is NOT!
Here are two facts:
Jesus had His race and did what we could never do for us. But you yourself have a faith race to run if you ever expect to here:
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25
So how is your faith race going? Are you even in one on a daily basis? Perhaps you are racing after the things of the world, money or your flesh more than God? Are you sprinting hard but not in the spirit and setting yourself up for a fall? Are you sitting in a pew weekly and not in the race at all? Men; have you studied hard to be approved (2 Tim 2:15) and have you found your ministry? Do you faithfully work it daily and strive at it no matter what like a righteous Noah? Are you in a comfortable spirit filled groove daily with the Word, Spirit and God's Ways fueling you along? Is it in a striving but calm controlled steadfast fast pace or are you keeping the wrong focus, sputtering and daily slipping away from the finish line vs gaining on it for God's glory and your souls saving?
If your are not doing what the Lord/Word calls you to today; what in the world are you waiting for? Do not be caught in sin, unaware, fruitless, idle and lukewarm to then be cast out as a tare into the fire!
There is hope and you can repent and get a fresh start today. These verses sums up what our race will produce and why we run it:
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
See the biblical gospel and test yourself and religious body HERE.