Getting Out of the Rat Race!

Fresh Manna 20009© by Pastor Tim Burt

John 4:13-14 (NLT) Jesus replied, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

I recently received feedback from a kind and thankful reader who had been reminded through what I wrote, what life is really all about. The letter started out like this…

“Dear Pastor Tim, What a soft gentle reminder that it’s easy to get caught up in getting bills paid off, doing business year end taxes, raising new babies, keeping kids at college and getting another into the air force. It’s enough to keep me busy 24/7 with no break in sight!!! Every day is just like the next! What is this rat race for? What really matters? I already know the answer, but your e-mail reminded me.”

How about you? Are you feeling like you are a part of the rat race? It can be easy to feel like that, and it gets worse when things aren’t good. I think most people have been touched and affected in some way by the downturn in the economy. When the economy gets tough, businesses have to downsize employees, firing or laying off some or offering early retirement or severance for others. There goal is to reduce their costs by reducing their workforce payrolls. For those that are left behind, that usually means taking on more work with the same amount of pay or possibly less pay. Those working are forced to work harder and smarter. Those that have left their job are trying to not panic while figuring out what they are going to do. The rat race is bad enough but this really magnifies it. Then there is the home front and all the demands that go with it.

Life has never been simple since Adam and Eve failed in the garden and released the curse in the earth. Genesis 3:17-19 gives us insight to that event. “To Adam God said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Just so you understand, God didn’t put like some voodoo curse on the earth. The thing that would cause life to become hard and affect everything from earth’s atmosphere, to the ground, to people’s perspectives and attitudes toward life, was sin. Adam and Eve had sinned and that sin would touch and affect everything in life in a negative way. Now all these years later, we see what sin has done to mankind and to the earth. Romans 5:12 bears out this truth saying, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” It created a rat race. It separated man from God. It stripped life of real meaning and purpose. It made people wander the earth asking, “Why am I here?” and “Is this all there is in life?”

One day Jesus will return and literally renovate the entire earth! Until then, He made a way to get out of the rat race now! It’s revealed in Romans 5:15-18 And what a difference between our sin and God’s generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God’s bountiful gift. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but we have the free gift of being accepted by God, even though we are guilty of many sins. The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness makes all people right in God’s sight and gives them life.

Jesus Christ offers and gives whoever will receive Him personally as their Savior and Lord – their life back. He’ll replace the rat race with the God race. In describing to a woman that wanted to understand more how that would affect her life, Jesus compared it to being hot and thirsty. When you take a drink of water it will bring refreshing only until you get hot and thirsty again. And so you go through that again and again – much like a rat race. But, to the one that received Jesus and let their life and purpose become living for Him, that drink would be different. He said, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring WITHIN them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

Life isn’t about existing in the rat race. It’s about learning to live for God. Your life is about becoming His mouth and hands in this earth and about reconciling others to Jesus. When that becomes true for you, then you’ve left the rat race and entered the God race. If that becomes your underlying purpose as you walk out your livelihood, your relationships, and your life, you will find yourself drinking from the perpetual spring that refreshes you, gives your eternal life, and turns the rat race into the God race. It will become a “perpetual spring within you and it will give you eternal life with Him.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

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