Running Well?

 Running Well

Galatians 5:7 – “You were running well.  Who hindered you from obeying the truth?”


A few years ago I decided to take up running, and even after running for several years it can still sometimes be a challenge.  I enjoy the feeling of getting outside and logging the miles, but sometimes the motivation is lacking.  At the end of last year I was able to complete a couple of half marathons but shortly after completing them I found myself dealing with a leg injury and with sickness so my running slowed down considerably.

Then our third son was born the first week of February, and the running slowed down even more.  When my wife went back to the doctor for her checkup I jokingly asked the nurse to check my blood pressure as well. She did and discovered that it was fairly high.  Right then and there we may a commitment to start running again.  A few weeks later and the blood pressure is back down.

I’m back to running but still sometimes it is a challenge.  The Bible actually uses running as an illustration several times:

            *you were running well

            *I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith, I have finished the race

            *Run that you may obtain the prize

            *They shall run and not be weary

            *Let us throw aside every hindrance and let us run with endurance the race set before us

These are good verses for running but in reality they are good verses for life.  Verses that say once you have come to know Jesus, once you have accepted the Gospel, continue to run, strong in the faith.  Run (live with Jesus) and don’t grow weary.  Throw aside the things that hinder you so that you may run (live with Jesus), and so that you may obtain the prize.  Be inspired by Paul’s example and finish the race strong (hold on to your faith no matter the opposition).

And finally Paul himself says to the church at Galatia, “you were running well, what hindered you?”  In the context that Paul is writing about he is talking about legalism.  They were following Christ and walking with Him, but then they were drug back into legalism.  They began to worry more about do this or do that, than about the grace of God.  Legalism had hindered their walk with Christ.

That’s not all that can hinder us however.  In running there are several things that can slow a person down (potholes, slippery surfaces, falling, debris – or worse in the road, traffic,… get the idea).  In our walk with Christ there are several things that can hinder us as well.  Legalism, lack of focus, worldliness, time constraints, and so much more.  All of these things can hinder us but they are symptoms of a larger problem, and that larger problem is that we have forgotten the beauty of the Gospel.  When we get hindered in our Christian walk we have forgotten just exactly what Jesus did for us. We have forgotten that He took our place, that He gave us forgiveness, that He gave us hope, that He took the wrath of the Father so that we wouldn’t have to.  We have forgotten all that He accomplished for us through His cross and resurrection.  When we forget we quickly become hindered in our walk with Christ.

How do we keep from being hindered? Just like in running.  In running to make sure that you don’t trip and fall you’ve got to keep your eyes open.  You’ve got to keep focus.  It’s the same thing in our walk with Christ, we’ve got to keep our eyes open, we’ve got to keep our focus, and our focus must continually be on Jesus.  He is the author and finisher of our faith.  He is the one who was “delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:25)”