Know ye not that they that which run in a race run all, but one receives the the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”1 Corinthians 9:24
One of the most common analogies in the Bible is the comparison of a Christian to a runner.
“And I do this for the sake of the good news (the Gospel), in order that I may become a participator in it and shrare in its [blessings along with you]. Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may be lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.”1 Corinthians 9:23-25
Our service to Christ is considered to be the race every Christian is running. And similarly as experienced by anyone who competes, the task of running is never an easy one. For running requires a lot of guidelines to be followed before one could can attain success and that is reaching the finish line. How then can one run the race of faith?
1. FOCUS ON THE GOAL
If you want to be successful,one got to have focus. As the Bible says in Hebrews 12:2, let us fix our eyes on Jesus. This is the very important thing. Our direction must be heavenward. We look to where God is (I Cor. 9:24). We should run in such a way as to get the prize. Attaining this is running with perseverance and removing all unnecessary things we have on. And what is it? It is the power of Satan which is sin.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race is set before us”Hebrews 12:1
Satan, our enemy focuses on destruction. We must throw of the power of Satan and turn our eyes to the promises of God.
This is what Abraham did (Romans 4:21). He was fully convinced that God has the power to do what He has promised. We can never out do God. We are in the end-time and according to the parable of the last hour there is only one hour left, race is nearing to its end. Keep on focusing on our goal.
Since Christian life is likened to a race: one could not win without really investing on hard work, perseverance and discipline.
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training… I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.1 Corinthians 9:25-27
For an athlete’s training to reap its maximum benefit, one must discipline his entire life, not just his time on the track. He must avoid distractions, must eat well, get sufficient rest, and avoid engaging in activities that could result in injury. A coach puts an perfect training program that an athlete tries his best to follow get the best result, be well fit and condition for the completion.
As Christians, we are instructed to discipline ourselves in all parts of our lives, not only in those that are specifically spiritual. Paul tells Timothy that he must flee the evil desires of youth & pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. We have to flee ourselves to worldly desires and lifestyle of this world. Our lives must manifest Christ in us. We must desire and pursue to be Christ-like.
3. FINISH THE RACE
In 2 Timothy 4:7-8, it says that we must fight a good fight of faith like what Apostle Paul testified . He was very positive despite countless trials and distractions. He did not labor for nothing not even did he run in vain instead he pressed on to continue his battle and proved his faith. Same with Abel in Hebrews 11:4, by faith he offered God a better sacrifice that Cain did, he was commended as a righteous man and though he was dead, by faith his works still speak. Even Paul and the other apostles and prophets, although they were physically dead, yet their work remains alive. Why? Because they had finished the race.
We cannot finish the race without endurance and perseverance. We need to continue in order for us to receive God’s promises (Heb. 10:36-38).
Let us have the Spirit that is on Christ. Let us run the race of faith and let us finish the race head us. Now is the end-time, the Lord is coming soon. Let us complete the work that God gave had entrusted us!