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Tag Archives: run

Alive But Not Liberated

Hogtied refers to having your hands and feet secured together. While this technique is often limited to rodeo competitions, many people go through life with certain restrictions. Some may end up gagged, stuck or tied up in a no win situation. Spiritual barriers may not be visible, but their affects are felt leaving countless individuals alive, but not liberated.

Out came the man who had been dead, his hands and feet tightly wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and release him,” John 11:44.

Prior to modern funeral homes, the dead were wrapped like a mummy to preserve bodies from accelerating the decay process. Bodies were often placed in caves, sealed by a large boulder. In the passage above, Jesus cancels Lazarus’ funeral. However, following this resurrection, Lazarus was alive, but not liberated. Lazarus’ grave clothes restricted his ability to move, talk and walk. Thus, Jesus invites pall bearers to unwrap Lazarus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1.

Following the chapter of the Bible known as the Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11, the author introduces a similar concept. Life on earth is compared to a marathon with the dead serving as witnesses, a large crowd cheering you on toward finish line in the race called life. Just as family and friends liberated Lazarus from his grave clothes, God wants believers to dispose of, get rid of and throw off anything that is weighing you down. As you pray to unload these burdens, you become one step closer to being alive and liberated.

by Jay Mankus

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Listening to the Judge

When Greece was as its mecca, bemas were used, a raised area for a public official who either made speeches from a stepped position or served as a judge for legal cases.  The city of Corinth was the host of the Corinthian Games, an early version of the Olympics.  During track competitions, a bema seat was used to insure no one broke the rules.  The apostle Paul, an avid spectator devotes a portion of one letter to listening to the judge.

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, 1 Corinthians 9:24.

In modern track and field events, judges hold two flags, one that is white and another that is red.  In a relay, white represents a clean hand off.  Meanwhile, if a red flag is raised, a foul has been committed.  Although red means automatic disqualification in races; field events give competitors three chances before being eliminated.  Thus, whether you like the rules or not, if you want to be  successful you must listen to the rules.

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, 1 Corinthians 9:25.

One of God’s greatest qualities is that He doesn’t keep any record of wrongs.  However, just imagine for a moment if a judge was assigned to you daily, holding up a red flag for everyone to see each time you messed up.  This would be extremely embarrassing and make people uncomfortable, especially on a bad day.  Thank God this isn’t the way life has been designed.  Rather, the Lord created free will so that you have every opportunity to listen or to ignore the judge.  Until you cross the finish line, choose wisely by listening to the Judge.

by Jay Mankus

Just Run Away

In the film Forrest Gump, Jenny’s advice for her friend remains constant throughout, “whenever you find yourself in trouble Forrest, just run away as fast as you can.”  As for Jenny, this was similar to her childhood prayer, “please God, make me a bird so that I can fly far, far away.”  Initially, God answered her prayer, being set free from the sexual abuse of her father as the state gave her grandmother guardian status.  However, there are certain things like Soul Spirit hurts which you can’t run from as memories follow you wherever you go.

Meanwhile, Forrest Gump found safety, success and solitude from physically running.  Fleeing from bullies, Forrest realized that he could outran people riding bikes, especially through grassy areas.  Once safe from harm, Forrest fell in love with running, using it as his main mode of transportation.  This passion led to a college scholarship, success in the military and solitude when he struggled to find meaning in life.  Thus, Jenny’s advice worked much better for Forrest than for her, becoming the motto for his life.

In the spiritual world, fleeing from the devil is great advice, demonstrated by Jesus in Matthew 4:10.  The apostle Paul added to this concept, referring to running away from a desire to do things in secret, at night when the mind thinks God can’t see you, Romans 12:11-14.  The most vocal of the 12 disciples added his own 2 cents as well, recognizing the power of the devil and the need to just run away, 1 Peter 5:8-9.  Finally, Jesus’ earthly brother provides one last reminder with a promise, “if you submit yourself to God, the devil with flee,” James 4:7.  Don’t just run away like Jenny; rather run into the loving arms of God the Father who is waiting for all prodigals to come home, Luke 15:20.

by Jay Mankus

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