Monday, March 28, 2011

Running in the "Grace" Lane

In life we have many races, but none more important than that of our Christian faith and experience. Our race is not TO salvation, but IN salvation. We continuously put one foot in front of the other; sometimes it's a sprint, other times it's a relay, but always a marathon. It starts at our salvation experience and ends when we come face to face with our Heavenly Father. How are we running that race?

Galatians 5:7,18, 25
"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you, and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you...But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law...Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

Our writer of Galatians, Paul, frequently used analogies of physical activities, and as the people of this time were familiar with the Greek culture of athletics and races, they understood what Paul was speaking of.

Philippians 3:12-14
12. Not that I have already obtained [it], or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of [it] yet; but one thing [I do]: forgetting what [lies] behind and reaching forward to what [lies] ahead, 14. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

So now we understand that this is a race for the believer; one who believes in and personally knows Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Each day we run. We may not seemingly do anything of "spiritual" value or consequence, but each day we are moving forward, hopefully led by the Holy Spirit. Our attitudes, actions, and beliefs are all part of that race.

What happens when we step on a piece of loose gravel, have a leg cramp, or get distracted by someone in the stands? Do we whine and groan, fall over and give up...or do we keep going? Maybe we have to slow down our pace or tend to an injury, but most important, we cannot give up. Are there hurdles that you didn't see to the last minute...someone else who is down and you lend a helping hand to get them back on track?

Maybe you're lacking stamina and you need to run "in tandem" with another runner for awhile to keep up the pace. Life is like a race. It may not be easy. It may be long, and it may be tiring. One thing for sure is that there is reward in the end. Our salvation race does have a finish line, and at the end, the one who hands us the prize and congratulates us is Jesus Himself.

The Galatian Christians were given the Gospel by Paul years before. They were running a good race, but the Judiazers we not only heckling them from the sidelines, they came out onto the field and were blocking their way. The Judiazers were giving them wrong information about their salvation. Sort of like someone standing in the middle of the lanes that directed the runners off course. And if you get off course in a race you can be disqualified. Wrong information can cause us to not only lose momentum it can keep us off balance and cause us to stumble.

If you haven't read the previous posts here from Galatians, why don't you take some time to find the backstory of the Galatians. They had been told that their belief in Jesus Christ as Savior wasn't enough. These were non-Jewish believers that had been hijacked into believing that salvation came through keeping the Jewish laws and customs. Jesus came to bring Freedom and to release us from captivity of the bondage of rules and regulations that the Jews had based their salvation upon.

Galatians 5:1
It is for Freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Freedom from condemnation under the Old Testament Law. Freedom to know Jesus personally. Freedom to live our lives to the fullest without fear. Freedom in mind and heart. Freedom in the Spirit, that our spirit may run fast and strong, not giving up; looking ahead and seeing Jesus at the finish line, arms open and smiling wide. Run in the "Grace" lane.

Where are you in the race?

love in Jesus,


  1. I absolutely LOVED your post today! Thank you!!

    Take care, Sue

  2. Isn't it amazing how God bombards us at times with a certain topic? Sermons lately, Sunday School lessons, and Ladies Bible Study have all been on you too!! I think I get it, Lord...and I know who you especially want me to extend grace toward. Without Your leading, I know my reaction would be anger.

  3. I enjoyed this encouraging post, Debra. I've often correlated my writing journey to running a race. I've got my running shoes on and am running with fire, pressing forward, without a doubt. By His grace, I believe I am right where I'm supposed to be.

    Blessings to you!

  4. Loved this post AND I really needed it, too! Thanks for sharing.

    because we're His,

  5. Hey My Girl... Don't you know, I love this subject! Not only has God orchestrated the race but He has equipped us to run the race, like any marathon racer knows you need to nourish your body and have the right equipment to run. He does not expect us to run this race on our own strength, He has sent His Holy Spirit to enable us to run it... what a thought, it isn't us that runs the race it is Him in us! We just have to let Him. Sometimes easier said then done, right? So God knowing our weakness, also incorporated grace when we tire of the race. He took away the rules... He not only died for our sins but took the concept of sin to the cross... when you are in Him running the race there is no sin! Paul talks about this in Romans 8. What a great God we serve. Thank you Debra for talking about such a vital subject in our walk/race towards the high calling.
    Love you


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