“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Cor. 9:24-27
To say Paul was an intense man is a huge understatement. It would also be an understatement to say he was a committed follower of Jesus and Apostle. Paul knew Jesus immense love for him and knew that the cause of Christ is the only cause that really matters. In this passage Paul reminds us that there are always situations in life where we can have the outcome of winning or losing. Winning and losing doesn’t just happen; it happens in how we train, plan and prepare to live our lives. Paul challenges us, “Run to Win!” I am a competitive person by nature and I need this reminder. Winner’s of races and athletic competitions don’t really win on game day. The win takes place when very few are watching. They win during the off-season, during practice and even with what they eat at every meal. The winner of the race dedicates and disciplines his or her life in such a way to be positioned to win.
As I look at my life, am I running/training aimlessly or is there a disciplined plan to win? I started the year with 3 ½ days of fasting and prayer. That was a winning start. But, after that start, has my flesh continued to surrender to the Holy Spirit in the same way every day? Am I still longing for his presence with the same passion that I did in January? Do I hunger for His word daily? Do I discipline my flesh and listen to the Holy Spirit more? The honest answer to these questions is sometimes yes and sometimes no. But I want to win. Therefore today I choose once again to train my heart and my spirit to totally surrender to Jesus. I choose to say Yes to a lifetime pursuit of Godliness and Holiness and No to a lazy heart and mind. Jesus made me to win and I intend to live like it!
God, thank you for your amazing word. Thank you for the kick in the pants this morning to live a disciplined and surrendered life to you. Give me strength and give me a willful heart to pursue you and your purposes above all others.