“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. I am not just shadowboxing. 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.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT
Everything we do for God has a purpose. Sometimes God’s Will can be a mystery to us, but it is all a process to make us more like Jesus and obtain our Eternal Prize. The more connected we are with Jesus, the clearer His Vision for our lives comes into focus. How we discipline ourselves through prayer and study of God’s Word helps reveal the course of God’s Will as Faith helps us to stay on track.
The race we are called to run in God’s Plan is a personal, yet prophetic race. It’s personal because God has chosen you specifically for a purpose. It’s prophetic in the sense that your Eternal Crown has been foretold, but how you forthtell is sharing the Gospel. What Jesus lays up in your heart is for you to become more like Him so that you may edify and encourage others to draw closer to Christ. Your personal ministry in the race to Heavenly Glory is all about your running to Jesus while guiding others with a gentle hand to the Savior Himself.
It’s not to say that the race to our Eternal Prize is not without its challenges. This is where Faith keeps us focused. Not everyone we share our vision for ministry with is going to see what God sees in us. Not everybody we invite to church will show up to hear the Gospel. Not everybody we share the Gospel with is going to get saved. Every prayer we pray will not get answered and every opportunity that comes our way will not always go as planned. Man judges by wins and losses, but thankfully Jesus does not. Faith reminds us that this life is not about our successes and failures, but about our faithfulness to Jesus Christ and what He has already successfully done for us.
The Lord keeps us pressing forward in our calling. Yes, our hands will get weak, and our feet will grow tired, but the Lord is faithful. God will uphold us through every step and strengthen our hands as we run with outstretched arms to receive our Eternal Crown that Jesus is waiting to present each one of us when we finish our race.