Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)
Your life of faith is like a race. Do you want to run well as you follow me? Are you running your race of faith with a desire to win? Yes, I want to run well as I follow you. Yes, I am running to win. I don’t want anything to distract me. I won’t look left or right or behind me. My eyes will look straight forward as I follow you. I know that you will help me to run the race of faith. I know that you will make me able to win the race of faith. Yes, I will.
What might distract you on your race of faith? What might hinder you from running well? Things that are of this world might hinder me from running well. Like what? The lust of the flesh might hinder me from running well. I will need to make sure that lustful and fleshly desires don’t pull me off course and prevent me from running well. I will need to separate myself from any situations and circumstance that might powerfully tempt me. That’s true. What else? The lust of the eyes might hinder me from running well. I will need to be very careful about what I allow my eyes to see. Many times I have wanted what I couldn’t have or certainly didn’t need. I will need to stop looking at whatever might allure and entice to want what I don’t have and don’t need. That’s right. What else? The pride of life might hinder me from running well. I will need to be very careful that I am not attracted and drawn to prideful things in life. Like what? I have been tempted by power and prestige. I have wanted to be someone that does great things. These desires can lead me down the wrong path and take me off of the course you have laid out for me. Yes, they can. You will do well to be on guard against any of these evils. You are right. They do have the potential to hinder you from running and finishing well in the race of faith.
How are you in training as you follow me? Are you giving an Olympic effort in your training as you follow and serve me? I’m not sure. I do know that I am fully available to whatever training you have in mind for me. I will go anywhere you guide me. I will do anything you ask of me. I am meeting with you daily in your word. I know that you are teaching and training me. If you have more in mind I will welcome it with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. I am at your service. I am running hard in my life of faith as I follow you. Yes, you are running hard and well. I do have more in mind for you. Follow me. Yes Lord, I will.
Lord, I have entered the race. I love you with all my heart and soul and mind and strength. You are my Savior and Lord. I am in training as I follow and serve you. Let nothing distract me from running well. Let nothing disqualify me from receiving the prize. Amen
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