The Endless Chase- No Finish Line
1 Peter 4:So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
I don't like to suffer. How about you? It is not high on my bucket list in life, but it doesn't mean it isn't going to happen. In verse 1 of the above scripture Peter uses the word "since" and that brings suffering into a more spiritual meaning than I have ever thought before. The word "since" also translate "because" which brings Jesus into this whole suffering subject. Since Jesus had to suffer and He is the Son of God, we need to get ready for some of it ourselves!! At face value this seems a little unfair, but if we look deeper into the following verses we see the "cure" for the suffering. Yes, cure!! The suffering signals that we are in a whole new realm in our walk with God and that realm is a life-changing place that puts to rest the endless chase of discontent in our lives. It is the finish line in our faith and it signifies that we have moved into a deeper area of faith with our Heavenly Father. I can't explain it fully because it is such an individual, intimate thing for each of us. This is not one of these "blanket" truths we can formulate to make sense for groups of people because it is so specific for the person and not the group.
We all have our impressions of how our Christian faith should go and we get most of that information second hand from the experiences of other people. It is almost a generic faith that we accept as deeply spiritual. But is it really? Without being too far "out there" I believe Peter was speaking from direct experiences he had with the Father and those experiences were very personal and specific. His comment about the overall attitude in serving Jesus comes back to the subject of chasing the wrong things and the foolishness of the whole chase. This chase has no finish line of peace and just keeps us reaching out for something that we shouldn't even be reaching for at all. Peter even says "you have had enough in the past of the evil things" which realigns us in a personal walk that move us closer to the attitude of Christ. There's the finish line. In a way, when we arm ourselves with this truth we have "arrived" at a more Godly conclusion about life itself.
Things that seemed so important are not so important anymore because we have aligned ourselves with the same attitude as Christ and that is a confimation of who we are "in" Christ. With the Holy Spirit in our life it begins to make sense and we begin to see the very essence of the believer's life and begin to have a perspective that looks at life so very different. It is a very heavenly way of looking at life itself. Trust begins to defeat fear!! Hope begins to defeat worry!! Peace begins to defeat tension!! And yes, faith begins to defeat doubt!!
Look at what Paul writes about Peace in Philippians 4:7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Look at what the writer of Hebrews says about faith in Hebrews 11:1Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
Look at what the writer of Proverbs says about trust in Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Look at what Paul wrote about this race we run and how it develops our hope in Romans 5:And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
We actually are to be different than the world but it is nothing of ourselves that makes that happen. All of this comes from the personal, intimate way God develops our faith and He does that from Jesus reaching the finish line of life for each of us so we can live out of that victory and not keep seeking the ways of this world anymore. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Jesus also said in Matthew 7:7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find.Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
The endless chase is over so quit trying to keep it going. Live for Christ and follow God's very perfect plan for your life and there you will find what you are looking for and the Holy Spirit will make sense of it all. That is life!!! The world has no depth in what it offers for happiness and the endless chase just keeps on going and we become squirrels on the world's treadmill. Step off. Step off. Stand in the victory that Jesus offers each of us. 1Corinthians 9:24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
The Pilgrimage continues.....