Sometimes things get heated up at the track. Sometimes we don’t respond in a way that honors God. We need to remember, even in the heat of the moment, that we belong to God. We need to remember that we need to reflect his character not ours. Run the race in such a way as to win. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
One of the most challenging things to do in racing is to keep our composure when everything around us is going crazy. When we develop that composure, we go a long way toward responding in a way that honors God.
What does it take to win a race? I thought about the ingredients necessary to win but had trouble putting my finger on them. I thought, well you need a fast car, but the fastest car doesn’t always win. I thought, you need a car that can get out front and lead, but the car that leads the most laps doesn’t always win the race. Or you must need the skills and talent to drive a racecar, but the most skilled driver doesn’t always win. I then thought surely that a skilled team that can make the necessary changes during the race would win, but the best team doesn’t always win. Well as you can see, I couldn’t put my finger on the necessary ingredients to win. What does it take to win? I guess that depends on the race you are running.
In racing we need all the things mentioned above, we need them to come together on race day and this still doesn’t guarantee victory. We need to run the race. Things will happen during the race that will have a significant impact on the outcome. If we don’t attempt to run we can never win.
Running the race properly involves responding to situations in a way that honors God. If we do not handle ourselves correctly, we do not run the race properly. How should we run? Listen to what Paul writes.
1 Corinthians 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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
I am reminded of the story of David and Goliath. If we look at the two competitors the race was over before it began. On one side we have the giant Goliath, an experienced fighter and intimidating. On the other side we have a shepherd boy with no armor, just his sling and staff. There was however something that tipped the scales in David’s favor. Goliath fought with his own strength and power. David fought not only with his strength and skill, but also with the blessing of God. You see, to run the race in a way in which to win, you must race within the Will of God.
God blesses us when we follow His direction. When we choose to take things on with our own strength and understanding we are not running in a way as which to win. Paul points out three things that are important.
Don’t run aimlessly. In order to win the race, we must know where the finish line is and the way to get there. God provides a direction for us. Seek Him out and follow His guidance. He is the best crew chief going.
Don’t fight against things that are not there. Too many times we spend our energy worrying about things that haven’t even happened. We get anxious and try to predict the future, don’t get caught up chasing the shadows of things that are not there. Deal with what is real and use the courage, wisdom and strength God provides.
Don’t be disqualified. We reason our way out of doing the things that are right. We find excuses to justify the choices we make. We cannot let ourselves give in to our selfish desires, but instead we must do what is right. We can justify anything we do with many reasons, but that doesn’t make it right. We must do what is right in the eyes of God.
Paul adds that there is a way to respond that honors God. We need to reflect the character of God when we run the race. Only then can we have victory even in defeat.
Ephesians 4:1a-3, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
There are times when we race against competitors who are full of themselves. They strut around like they are so great. They are full of pride and arrogance. I am here to tell you if you get drawn into that thought process you will never win the race. Don’t get me wrong you can still be competitive and a tenacious combatant and still honor God. The secret is not to think more of yourself than you ought to. Look at David and how he was able to be victorious over Goliath.
Goliath laughed at him when he walked on the battlefield. Goliath insulted him and the nation he represented. Goliath didn’t take him seriously. David wasn’t defeated by the arrogance of Goliath. He placed a rock in his sling and flung one stone striking Goliath in the forehead and killing him.
We need to remember what we have been called to and run the race in a way that will honor God. We will not wilt when the circumstances seem to be overwhelming, the pressure seems too much. Whatever we do will prosper, we will taste victory. Look forward to experiencing God’s blessings. Run in such a way as to win; throw off everything that hinders and focus on Jesus!
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.