1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
The verses above have become some of the most meaningful for me. By the grace of faith, I know that if I know God, then it is by His grace alone. I also know that until I see Him face to face I live between two realms: the sinless kingdom of heaven and the world of sin. My flesh cannot be fully tamed to obey God, but I am blessed to experience heavenly peace, joy and righteousness when I am able to repent and be conformed to the image of Christ. It is a competition for superiority over my mind and body. By the grace of God, I plan to win.
The Apostle Paul’s comments about racing are so applicable today. Competition is a common and useful tool to foster improvement so long as the competitors play fairly. When we compete in a race or even just play checkers, winning is important. In our struggle against temptation, doubt, worry and sin, we must plan to win. We have the tools and information to empower a winning performance, but oftentimes we stop short. We acquiesce to what’s easy instead of striving for what’s excellent.
The prize in our struggle is a heavenly blessing and fellowship with Christ. He is coaching us along saying, “You can do it. I am showing you the way. Just follow my footsteps.” Through Christ we are more than conquerors. Go win the day, Christ is running with you to shout encouragements along the path and pick you up when you stumble. Run to win.