Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Run to Win

I Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.

Yesterday, I attended my son Omari’s first track meet. I had butterflies for him! You could see the anxiety in many of the kids, warming up to run their best race. You could feel the tension in the air. There were some great athletes out there, some of them looked like grown men compared to my son who is a freshman this year. He was running with the Varsity guys. When he ran the 400 meter race he started out fast, ahead of the pack but somewhere around the turn he stumbled and the “monkey” got on his back. He said, “Daddy I would have won if I would have paced myself, I took out too fast.”

The race is not given to the swift or to the strong but in “longer distances” it’s given to those who pace themselves.

When Paul says run in such a way as to win, he’s not just talking about running fast he’s also talking about:

1. It’s how you take off. How you start has a lot to do with how you finish. I noticed a lot of runners using starting blocks to get a good push off. Every morning we wake up we need a good start. God’s Word is our starting block to ensure we get a good push toward a productive day.

2. It’s about training. Before you even hit the track you have to make sure that you have trained for the race. If you have not trained properly it’s going to show up on the track. The more you train the easier the event.

1 Corinthians 9:27 (The Message)

26-27I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

3. It’s about Pace. It’s not about how fast you take off but it’s about how you set the pace so you have enough in the tank to finish at the end. There have been plenty of people who started out strong but they went about the whole thing wrong. When you are running don’t worry about what everybody else is doing, you have to run your race, set your pace, and turn it on when it’s time to turn it on.

4. It’s about what you wear. Man those guys had on some tight stuff. I don’t think I could have worn that outfit when I ran in the 80’s…LOL. The clothes they had on were aerodynamic. It gave them less resistance when running. We need to make sure we lighten our load when we are running.

Hebrews 12
1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.

5. It’s about finishing strong. My son said he stumbled at the end causing him to exert more energy to regain his balance. Too many men and women of God have strong careers and ministries and stumble right there at the end. We have to make sure that we are disciplined and the closer we get to the end the harder we have to run. We have to run to win.

1 Corinthians 9:25 (New International Version)
25Everyone 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.

Dear God, help me to win at life. So many have stumbled, so many have been disqualified. I admit the “monkey” has gotten on my back a time or two but your Holy Spirit gave me the strength to endure. Strengthen my legs so that I can finish strong and win!

In Jesus Name,

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