What’s always fascinating to me is how little children run everywhere they go. When our grandchildren come to our home they rarely ever walk anywhere. To go from one room of the house to the other, they sprint. No wonder they are lean and fit. Maybe I should start running everywhere I go! Paul speaks about running in the race of life, as he follows Jesus. Listen to his words in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
Paul makes it clear that our life’s race should be filled with goals, purpose, and discipline. Live your life, setting goals, aiming for something, and standing for something! If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Make it your goal to win. Winning means that you accomplish those goals you set. Goals can be lofty ideas or simple, daily, wins in small areas. They all count! As you strive for those goals, do so with purpose and intention in every step. In everything you do make winning in life a priority. Regardless of your vocation or life’s work, it’s important to live a life of discipline. The scriptural disciplines are applicable in every walk of life. Discipline your body, mind, and spirit through regular, consistent, fasting and prayer. When a person is driven and passionate, those traits are fleshed out in the “flesh man,” or the “spirit man.” In other words, you can be an “all in” sinner or an “all in” saint! To make sure you put those energies to work in the right place, you must fast, pray, and seek the Lord through daily devotion and bible reading. The Apostle Paul was a zealous persecutor of the early church and later became a zealous preacher of the same gospel he tried to stop. He desired to preach the gospel with a greater zeal than he persecuted the church with.(Galatians 1:13-23; Philippians 3:6-11) So today, let your goal be to run your “follower-ship of Jesus” race with more zeal and tenacity in it, than you had when you were “running with the devil!” The Van Halen song lyrics, to Running with the Devil, state, “I live my life like there’s no tomorrow.” When you were not serving Jesus and your life was depicted by those lyrics, you sure want to make certain that now that you’re following Jesus you are not going to be a lackadaisical Christian; lacking enthusiasm and determination, passionless, half-hearted, careless, lazy, or lukewarm. Determine that you are going to live today for Jesus, running with goals, purpose, and discipline; like there’s no tomorrow! Go win the race!