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.
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.
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,