A video was recently shown to me of a car racing down a highway in an attempt to beat a train to a railroad crossing. The conclusion of the video was not a pretty sight. Several things about this scene should be noted. First, the driver knew he was taking a huge risk to even try to beat the train. Second, he also knew he had to break the law to even have a chance to outrun the train. Third, there were numerous warning signs and painted warnings on the road, as well as lights flashing and bells ringing as the car crossed the tracks and the train plowed through the car.
As I watched this video, it immediately brought up pictures in my mind, as well as comments I’ve heard people say regarding their own lives. In spite of warnings, they went headlong against God’s parameters.
It also reminded me of 2 Timothy, where it says, “…in the last days there will be very difficult times/perilous times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.”
In this hour in which we live, many people are choosing to risk it all—at their own peril—to experience the pleasure of the moment, as they race the enemy and hope to squeeze by in their walk with God. But the reality is, that these kinds of choices are destructive, costly, perilous, leading to shipwrecked lives.
There is another very important verse found in Jude 3 that should be walked out in this perilous hour. It says, “…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” It doesn’t matter if I want to contend, fight, battle, struggle for the faith or not. We have an enemy going about as a roaring lion seeking to devour us. And we must not only “contend” for the faith, but we must do it with earnest, consistently, increasingly.
Let me offer several words of caution to help you “contend earnestly” for faith in your life:
1.) Compromise. When we begin to “compromise” in small things that we know do not please the Lord, we are headed on a slippery downward spiral.
2.) Isolation. When I find myself isolating from people of faith, and justify my behaviors similar to the world, I am moving away from God’s Kingdom, and moving towards darkness.
3.) Offense. When I have been offended, but then use that as an excuse for not spending time with God or fellow believers, but instead, blaming God, then my life is headed for destruction.
All of us are in a race—running the race with faith, or running a race headed for peril. May you find grace to “lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Run after life—not peril.