Thursday, 18 July 2013

Run in such a way as to win the prize. 1 Cor 9:24-27

A couple of nights ago had a dream and in this dream I saw myself running on the road and going around the block and looking at houses, some of them old and run down.  Then the second time I went out I saw myself running down the road again and I saw some christian friends that I know gathered in a party type gathering, and I found myself crossing over the street moving on from the party and I continued down the road with a sense of not wanting to go back.

Several things spoke to me in this dream.
One; that I was looking at old and run down houses as I ran.
Two; that the second time I went out I crossed the road from my friends who were gathered and continued on running.

Firstly just like our physical houses, we don't let them get rundown and if we have maintenance to do, we get on to it before it becomes too big and it is costly to maintain and keep a house in good repair but we do it because it is necessary. So too our spiritual houses, we need to look after our spirit, we may  need to do upkeep, a bit of renovation work and protect our property from the weather conditions or from whatever may cause damage, perhaps rats getting in a hole and we need to block the hole so they can't come in and it may cost us in getting things sorted in such a way where our spiritual house is in good condition and well maintained and not run down and falling apart.

Secondly in our lives we are going to have to make decisions and perhaps avoid those things or let those people go in our lives that hold us in a place or don't encourage us on and continue to run the race that we are called to.  Sometimes we need to make decisions that in the long run will benefit, but in the short term may mean a sacrifice that is costly and perhaps at the loss of friends.  We need to know what we are aiming for in life because when you know what your yes is, then you know what your no is.  Find out what your 'yes' is, what it is that you are aiming at.

I had a choice when running whether to continue on the side of the road I was on, or go into the party but I choose to avoid it and run on the other side of the road and this is where I want to encourage you.  Run your life that you avoid the things that would be pitfalls to you and lead you down a path that perhaps is not what the Lord has called you to.  It may be what He has called them to, but your path may be different.

Hebrew 12 speaks straight to this in such a way it is so powerful and I have put the whole verses here although a bit of a long read because it is so good and there is so much in it.
"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.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons;
"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father?  If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.  How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!  Our fathers disciplines us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."  

Although there is a cost to our decisions either way, good or bad, the decision we make towards Christ, towards his righteousness in our lives, towards the callings on our lives, will only lead to life, not only for us, but also to those around us.  It will not only be valuable in keeping our spiritual houses in great condition for the long haul but also there will be an inheritance for your family that will remain.   For me in this dream I had to move away from christian friends and go on the other side of the road and that hurt me a great deal but I had to let them go and leave them to live their lives in the Lord.  Sometimes the path you are called to run is very lonely and you leave behind those gathered onto a solitary journey but one that the Lord is with you in encouraging you to keep going.  He is on the sideline cheering you on as you run.

1 Cor 9-24-27  "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize."  Lets not be a people that get distracted by all sorts of things along the way but keep our focus on where we are heading and decide today to perhaps avoid or move away from those things that would cause damage and choose to run into your future, run into those things the Lord has for you even at the cost of perhaps your friends, your family, your job.