“You Were Running Well”
by Pastor George Van Alstine

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian church because he thought they had lost their way spiritually:

“You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough.” (Galatians 5:7-9)

They had originally been inspired and motivated by the pure and simple gospel of new life in Christ. But some spiritual teachers, probably well-meaning, but with a twisted understanding of the liberating message, had confused them with additional rules and regulations. “A little leaven” of legalistic thinking had affected their entire experience of living the Christian life.

Do you remember a time when “you were running well,” when your Christian belief was alive and new, when every day seemed to be a fresh adventure in faith? Is your present experience a drag, by contrast, more a matter of following a rulebook than a Person, defined by others around you rather than spontaneously bubbling from within you?

Well, it’s time to get back on course and moving with God’s creative flow. You need a spiritual renewal, kind of like a second honeymoon with God. This can happen to you today, right now! All you have to do is to ask him sincerely, and he’ll stir up your heart with revived love for him.

But you have to realize that a lot of things are going to change. All the old “leaven” of misleading rules and regulations will have to be thrown out. If you leave a little behind, it will “leaven the whole batch” again. And you’ll have to stop listening to all the voices around you telling you how you should be, and instead just be who God is re-creating you to be.

Also, you’ll have to be ready for action. Inaction has been your pattern — that’s why you’ve been frustrated and discouraged. You need forward momentum in order to run well. People who have slackened in their Christian life are often called “backsliders.” That’s because in the Christian race you can’t just stop. You’re either moving forward or you find yourself slipping backward—backsliding.

If this little message catches you at the right time and you ask God for this second chance, you’re in for a great journey. People who have experienced personal revival after carelessly losing their faith momentum have discovered that the second time around can be an even greater high than the excitement a new believer feels.

It’s never too late. God has some great surprises in store for you. Just say Yes!