Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The apostle Paul was very fond of athletic illustrations and used them often in his letters. His readers as well were familiar with the Olympics that always included foot races. It is important to note that Paul never uses the image of the race to tell people how to be saved. He uses the illustration of the race to inform Christians about how to live the Christian life. A contestant in the Greek games had to be a citizen before he could compete in the races. We do not run in order to be saved, but we run the race because we are saved.
In the races, each runner was to stay in his assigned lane, but some runners would cut in on their competitors to try to get them off course. The word “hinder” is an Olympic expression, and properly signifies coming across the course while a person is running in it, in such a manner as to jostle, and throw him out of the way. Paul asks, with emphasis, who could it have been that retarded them in their Christian course.
The quickest way to destroy the spirituality of a church, and to annihilate its influence, is to excite a spirit of uncontrolled speech. Our speech can hinder or help; bless or blight. The first thing some people do in the morning is to brush their teeth and sharpen their tongue. The sins of the tongue are varied and numerous: idle and injurious gossip, hurtful faultfinding, slander, lying, destructive criticism, and fleshly boasting just to name a few.
To overcome hindrance, we should learn to live under the influences of the Holy Spirit; admit those influences fully into your hearts. Do not resist Him, but yield to Him. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Yield to the control of the Holy Spirit. So much work is done without our yielding to the Holy Spirit of God. So much work for God is done through the flesh instead of the Holy Spirit of God. Doing God’s work in the flesh boils down to depending on our influence, personality, gifts, natural resources, education, and experience. God’s work should be done under the direction of and in the power of the Holy Spirit. The church is hindered when we operate without yielding to the Spirit of God and depending on Him.
Once we learn how to overcome hindrances, we will be closer to becoming fully redeemed by Christ. This is a continuous process and we need to surround ourselves with people who are always encouraging rather than discouraging us all the time.
Prayer: Lord, please give us the wisdom to understand the situations in our life, so that instead of hindering we can help others to be redeemed by Christ….Amen
Thought for the Day: We should commend, attend, and defend the church, not hinder the church!
Wilson David, Seattle MTC.A