Don’t get caught up!

I remember being in college and climbing the hill behind my house with God’s word and a sack of lunch. I used to spend a lot of time this way just being in God’s presence, spending time in His Word, and thinking about life. I remember one day looking down off the hill and seeing the traffic on the highway and then looking out over this whole end of town seeing cars and people going like crazy. I remember praying to God asking to never let me get caught up in the rat race of life– let me keep it in perspective and keep me free of it all. That was about 26 years ago and I’d love to say I never got caught up in it all, I could rationalize and say I have done better than most, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been occasionally caught up in it all. We all can be!

The rat race as a Christian by definition is the conflict between who I am created to be (2 Corinthians 5:7, 17) and who I am tempted to be (1 Timothy 6:9). I am a new creation and I was created to live by faith, not by sight, to be at home with God away from the body. As long as I am here I am to live to please Him by allowing my life to be all about my relationship with Him.

However I, and all of us, are being tempted to make life about something different. See we are being ‘cut in on’ by the temptations and teachings of the world as Paul says in Galatians 5:7-9, it is like yeast that works it’s way into the whole batch of dough. We get caught up chasing the riches and pleasures of the world rather than the riches of God available to us through Jesus Christ. Paul explained to Timothy how it works in 1 Tim. 6:9 “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” You see men who get success sickness fall into temptation! A trap! A rat trap that plunges themselves into many harmful things. This is the man  you are tempted to be. This verse and other verses like it (ie. Romans 1:21-25) tell us that we exchange the truth of God for a lie and the glory of God for idols. This is the man you and I are tempted to be.

This year lets become more aware of our lives, have we fallen in the trappings of the world or is life about the glory of and relationship with God. Let us not run the rat race but– “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” Hebrews 12:1. This year let’s be found faithfully running the right race!

In His Service,

Eric Barnes