You were running well, who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 5: 7

The strides are coming in a smooth and easy rhythm, ground is flying past with little effort, and the race is going just as you had planned for it to go; then, there is that sudden sense of a foot being nailed to the track or that disorienting sensation that comes when one foot is knocked off line by an outside force. In a moment order and progress have become chaos and pain, victory tasted has become defeat experienced. This is the nature of life when we dare to venture into the world of truly engaging in the contest against the forces of evil; for they don’t compete in a fair and above board manner. They want to win, and will do and say anything to achieve that end; so, we need to be willing to fight even harder to stay true to the calling that Christ has set before us.

It seems that one of the things that Paul is telling us here is that we need to be continually on the alert for the sorts of false information and misleading thoughts or ideas that will be set before us to try to get us off of God’s desired course. Living a life in the center of God’s will is never going to be a sit back and let it all come to me sort of existence; there will always be a need for effort and focus on our parts. We need to be students of God, studying His truth and its application in our lives through continual and thorough study of His word. The Spirit of God will provide us with the discernment and understanding that we need to test everything that we are told and taught so that we will not be tripped up by false teaching.

In my own experience, I am often my own greatest hindrance in running this spiritual race well; for it seems that I fail to condition and to train consistently and adequately; then, my legs become weak, my cardio conditioning fails me, and my form is flawed so that I end up tripping and falling into an inglorious heap on the side of the track because I stepped on my own foot. What I mean is that the same exercise of study, prayer, and fellowship that is the best way to defeat false teaching is also the best way to stay conditioned for the rigors of living a life of righteous joy in the center of God’s will. Truth wins the race in this life, truth is defined by God, Himself, and truth becomes real and tangible as we grow in our relationship with Christ.