“Run to win!” 1Co 9:24 NLT
In the Roman Empire athletes stripped down to a simple loincloth so that nothing prevented them from running their best race. Referring to it, Paul writes: “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 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. So I run with purpose in every step” (vv. 24-26 NLT). How about you? Do you just want the fun of being in the race, or are you running to win? To succeed at being what God has redeemed and called you to be, you’ll have to stop doing certain things, even enjoyable things, and begin doing other things that support your goals and help you to fulfill your God-ordained purpose. Sometimes this will mean saying no to well-intentioned people who try to involve you in things that steal your time and produce the wrong results. It will also mean dealing with “the sin that so easily entangles” (Heb 12:1 NIV). When God says something is wrong, it’s wrong! You don’t need to rationalize, make excuses or feel sorry for yourself. You just need to agree, ask His forgiveness and get it out of your life. Who gets the prize? Those who pay the price! Paul knew he couldn’t win the race without first bringing his body, mind and emotions under the control of God’s Spirit. The same goes for you. And you can’t expect somebody else to make you do what’s right; you must listen to what God’s saying to you, and take action.