By Rev Don Rivers
We took a little break from our journey of faith and I wanted to review where we’ve been. What gets us moving down the road? What is it that prompts us to start the journey? What do we need to encourage us to follow? Let’s take a look at our journey. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I have often thought about the effort it takes to get from the garage to the track. Where does the motivation come from to embark on a racing adventure? Some can see the potential in a pile of metal tubing. Others can see an old car and imagine the future racecar hidden inside. Do you remember the junkyard days? The journey began with a trip out to the yard. Let’s see what we can find and make into a racecar. Today the journey may begin searching the internet to see what’s available. No matter, the journey begins with a spark, a thought, a desire to see what you can do.
Hebrews 12 :1, NLT; Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We begin the journey to join those who have already gone before us. Maybe to match their efforts or exceed what they were able to accomplish. Very few times do we start a journey on a road no one has traveled. We follow in the footsteps of those who have come before. It is important to acknowledge, remember where we come from and those who came before us.
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one. Sometimes the greatest thing we can do is honor the journey of someone who came before us. As we are inspired by their journey we might ask; what has God placed me here for? Whose lives have we been placed here to touch? And so, our journey begins.
Our goal in life as a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. To do that requires faith. Not in our abilities or understanding, but in God’s sovereignty. Sometimes we question if God is still in control. Sometimes we wonder if He has things figured out. Will God do it or does he need my help? We even have the thought that we need to lead God. We need to show Him where we think He should be working.
There are some things God tolerates that we do. There are some things God allows us to do. But there are things that only God makes happen. God’s Sovereign Will, will be done. As followers we need to remember that, we need to understand two important things about God;
God is Sovereign, God has absolute control over His creation and determines the outcome of all things according to His wise, just and righteous purposes.
God is Good, God not only controls everything but he reveals his character in the outcome of His plan, it accomplishes good and is beneficial for us.
Whether we believe it or not! When we fail to acknowledge God’s sovereignty we become, as James described, tossed about.
James 1:5-8; NLT: 5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
When it does not seem likely. When it does not seem possible. When it does not make sense to us. Then it has to be God! Remember our goal in life is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. To do that requires faith, not in our abilities or understanding, but in God’s Sovereignty.
What enables us to persevere? What is it that gives us hope? What is it that gives us peace?
Faith; We receive them as we walk by faith.
… let us strip off every weight that slows us down …
We need to take a look at our lives and ask; What keeps us from serving God; Job, Home, Racing, Family or maybe Debt, Pride, Fear or Greed?
… the sin that so easily trips us up…
Most of us think we are good people. We try to do what’s right in God’s eyes. We try to treat others as God would but this is where we get tripped up. Have we ever been unkind, unloving, lacked faith, abrasive, out of control, impatient, anxious or worried, prideful or arrogant? There it is, the sin that so easily trips us up. The things that keep us from experiencing the full blessing of God.
When we place our faith in God through Jesus, he enables us to walk in faith. When we walk in faith, we persevere through all the hindrances and entanglements with our focus on Jesus.
How can we maintain our faith in God when things are not going the way we think they should?
Isaiah 43 1b-3b; “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
God is with us! Facing hardship, persecution and difficulties is part of the journey, but we should never forget that we cannot be separated from the love of God through Jesus Christ! The source of the fire may be cruel or malicious intentions on the part of others, but ultimately God is the one who is controlling the temperature and allowing us to pass through it. First, remember God knows the way that we take. God is not unaware of our difficulty; God is not insensitive to the pain we are feeling. He knows. He is intimately acquainted with our situation and our condition.
And if the all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving God is allowing one of his children to pass through affliction, we can rest assured that there is a purpose behind it. We may not see it yet. We may not even agree with it. But rest assured that when God has tried us, we will come out as refined, purified gold, reflecting His image.
We can rest in the wonderful assurance that God is next to us on our journey and on his throne in heaven. He knows the way we are taking, and is in control over every detail of our journey until it is complete and we join Him in glory. 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.