Bible Ballistics: BBs #330 Only Your Own Story???
I am a great C.S. Lewis fan, and I just love the Chronicles of Narnia. I enjoy the great spiritual parallels and in some of the stories there is a line that Aslan speaks to a person he is encountering personally; when asked about some other person in the story Aslan’s reply is classic, “I only tell you ‘your’ story, not theirs!” A principle we should take to heart.
We are living in a culture that is plagued with, what I call, a ‘Pass the buck’ syndrome. No one is responsible for his own actions, and it seems that our favorite pastime is to criticize circumstances, motives (Or ulterior motives!) and intentions of others; as well as determining how they measure up to our particular expectations. There is a principle in scripture that calls us to ‘run in our own lane’—we are to run the race that Jesus places before us without regard to the race that someone else may be running.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience
the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus
of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is set down
at the right hand
of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
We are called to run “the race that is set before us”! Take note of pronouns used in this passage:
“we also are compassed about—
let us lay aside–
doth so easily beset us—
let us run—
set before us—
We are each called by God, each one given the opportunity to place our faith in Jesus, and each one is called to consider the testimony of those who are around us, both presently and those who have gone on before us (Whether recorded in scripture or great Christian biographies!). We must recognize that temptations and trials come to each one of us, yet we are not all tempted by the same things, and different issues may affect each of us differently. We are called to have unity in Jesus Christ, not to be uniform! We are called to run ‘the race’ that is set ‘before us’, not the race set before someone else. God sets the race, my job is to run faithfully and finish well. I don’t have to beat anyone else; this is a personal best not a competition with the rest of the body of Christ. Really? My race is not the same as yours, in the sense that we are each uniquely called and gifted to do what ‘only’ we can do. Yes there are basics that we are all called to pursue—God, Jesus, holiness, the knowledge of God through His Word, the fruit of the Spirit—but we all have unique giftings through which we accomplish God’s will.
I’d like to leave you with some words of Jesus to Peter after the resurrection, and at a restoration encounter at the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had just challenged Peter three times with the question, “lovest thou me?”, and to Peter’s positive response each time Jesus had commissioned him to feed and tend his sheep/lambs. Jesus then told Peter He would follow HIM to death for his faith. At this Peter, seeming to want to ‘change the subject’ turned to the Apostle John and asked Jesus a question about “John’s” story. Let’s consider what Jesus had to say in response to Peter’s inquiry.
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself,
and walkedst whither thou wouldest:
but when thou shalt be old,
thou shalt stretch forth thy hands,
and another shall gird thee,
and carry thee whither
thou wouldest not.
19 This spake he,
signifying by what death
he should glorify God.
And when he had spoken this,
he saith unto him,
20 Then Peter,
Philseeth the disciple
whom Jesus loved
which also leaned on his breast
and said, Lord, which is he
that betrayeth thee?
21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus,
Lord, and what shall this man do?
22 Jesus saith unto him,
If I will that he tarry till I come,
what is that to thee?
follow thou me.” John 21:18-22
So my friend, I ask you, “what is that to thee?” Are you so busy checking out everyone else’s race, that you aren’t running your own? Are you neglecting your race, to be a judge of someone else’s race? The solution is simple but not easy.
“follow thou me”—
And there is only one way to successfully do that:
“Looking unto Jesus
of our faith”
Or as the NASB translates it, we are to keep “fixing our eyes” on Jesus. So keep your eyes on the prize—Jesus– and don’t worry about what HE is calling others to do. Jesus is only concerned about you and I doing what HE has called us to do. Let’s press on together in “our lane” running “our race” with patience, love and diligence. Press on dear one, press on. Remember, we WIN! Jesus IS the prize!!!
“Brethren, I count not myself
to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things
which are before,
14 I press toward the mark
for the prize
of the high calling
in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14