What race are you in?

In Hebrews, the Word of God speaks of the race that Christians have to go through:

Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The race of faith that we must run is the race that we walk with patience, looking to Jesus. This is a race, the beginning and end of which is the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the race of Christians. We can also learn from what Paul says that not all of us who are called Christians go through this race. Otherwise, he would not have persuaded us: “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

The question is, what race are we going through? Is there another race?

Rat race

I discovered this term in a wonderful Christian book I’m currently reading called “The Man in the Mirror.” There is also a wild race around us, a worldy race. In this race, Jesus Christ our Lord is not the final goal. This race is not turned to Him. This is a race for different empty “goals”. This is a race for financial success, success in the workplace, for the realization of one’s abilities, material values, bigger and better houses, bigger incomes, power and influence. This is a race that millions of people go through every day, filling their homes with useless things. This is a race that people go through, getting into debt in an effort to quickly realize the dream of a “beautiful, good and settled life.” A rich life and a “personal (self-centered) world.” The end of it: emptiness, loss of orientation and stress.

So, there are two races: the Christian race, the race followed by believers who look to Jesus Christ. This is a race of obedience to the Word of God. This race is opposed to the field of materialism, consumption and the world’s race. The fact is that, despite the fact that Christians are aware of this, we often become victims of the race of anti-clericalism, materialism and consumption. For many of us Christians, the God we believe in is not the God of the Bible. We believe in God, the good grandfather, who pampers us with his gifts. We believe in a God who loves and gives, but not in a sacred God. Therefore, God becomes the one from whom we expect not only to fulfill our needs – these are the right expectations – but also to help us in the wrong race. We want both God and the whole world. But this is impossible. As James says:

James 4:4
“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity against God? So whoever wants to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy to God.”

It is impossible to run two races at the same time. It is impossible to serve two masters. It is impossible to sit on two horses at the same time. You must choose one of the two and first you must understand what race you want to go through. I believe that the best sign of a race is the race that our heart tells us about, or rather, the spirit of God in our hearts. Approaching God brings life. Approaching the world brings death. Who is the God you believe in? Is your God a good God who will always spoil you with gifts and blessings? What would you do if God didn’t live up to your standards, if He didn’t answer prayer, if the wish didn’t come true? What would you do if being a Christian became expensive? If it would be necessary to defend your faith at work or in society?

God is the only source of life. Jesus said that those who seek their life will lose it and those who lose their life will gain it. Many of us are trying to save our lives. Our life, ourselves, is the most important thing and the center of our life is trying to satisfy itself in the shopping center with the help of purchases and accumulated things. The way of Jesus is to commit yourself to God, to commit your life into His hands. By doing this, you will understand who Jesus is, that is, He is LIFE. The Lord said in the book of the prophet Jeremiah that His people had done two evils: they left Him, the fountain of living water, and hewed out cisterns of broken cisterns that could not hold water (Jeremiah 2:13). God is the only source of living water. He is the only one from whom life and peace come and those of us who have ever been close to Him know this. If God seems far away, can it be that we are running the wrong way, going through the wrong race? Of course it is possible. The further we go down the wrong path, the further away God is from us. But there is always an opportunity to return. As one of the books of the Old Testament prophets says, “let’s examine ourselves and return to the Lord.” As the prodigal son did, let us return to ourselves and return to our father’s house. In the parable of the sower, 3 of the four categories are the categories of people who have heard and believed in the Word of God. However, only one, the last one, is moving in the right direction. The other two are moving in the wrong direction.

The second category includes Christians, who are Christians only if the price is not high. When the price of being a Christian rises, when persecution comes on the account of the gospel, they renounce the faith. They go to the race of approval of the world.

In another category are those that are littered with the wealth and attention of the world. They are “very busy”. They want to become rich and live a happy and beautiful life according to all world standards. This goal clouds their vision so much that, in the end, they cease to bear fruit.

Neither of these two categories bear fruit. Only the last category bears fruit and only this category runs in the race of faith.

We also see this in Paul’s letter. Demas is someone whom Paul mentions many times in his letters, eventually Demas leaves him and follows the world. Demas went in the wrong direction. He was in the rat race, not on the race to Christ. What race are you moving in? It’s time to say no to emptiness and return to the source of life and truth: the living God. Millions have believed in a God who is not the God of the Bible, but is a kind grandfather who sends blessings. Millions would stop and not follow God if He would not answer to their personal requests.

In conclusion, what gospel do you believe in? The gospel of Jesus Christ or the gospel of consumption, materialism and anti-clericalism?

2 Corinthians 13:5
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

Hebrews 12:1-2
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

By Anastasios Kioylaxogloy.

Source: http://www.bibletruths.ru/jbamarapr05_ru.htm