Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air (1 Corinthians 9:26 New King James Version).
In 1 Corinthians 9: 24, Paul talks about running a race. He says those who run all run to receive a prize, but only one can obtain it. He tells us to run in such a way we receive the prize. The race he’s talking about has an imperishable crown for a prize. As Christians, He is saying we need to keep our eyes focused on what we will obtain if we run the race with Jesus as our purpose. We know there will be bumps in the road, adversity on the path, walls erected to perhaps stop us from attaining our goal. Running this race, knowing what we will come up against, gives us an advantage because our hope is in Christ and He directs our steps. I’ve never watched a marathon, but I would imagine most of the runners know the course, they would have an idea of how fast to run at a particular point so they don’t spend all their energy; they would perhaps know where the water tables will be; they may even have plotted shortcuts. Marathon runners don’t run without purpose or without a goal in mind. To be uncertain in the race means to run slower, taking unsure strides, second guessing the course and when faced with a roadblock, perhaps quitting altogether. When you are uncertain, you don’t know what you may come up against and therefore you are unprepared.
With Jesus and our heavenly home as our prize, we know what we are reaching. Jesus told us the road would be narrow and difficult, so we can’t say we don’t know how hard our Christian walk is. To prepare for this race is to be connected to Christ, through His word, through prayer, through praise and worship. It is by Him we find the place to set our feet; it is through Him we have strength to press on each day, it is with Him we are able steady ourselves when we begin to falter. It is this preparation, when adversity strikes and our path seems blocked, we will know where to run and where to stand and fight.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for blessing us with this new day! We are so grateful that You love us so much to grant us more opportunities to bring others to Your feet and to share Your love with them. Father, we pray for strength to continue forward in this race. We ask for grace to move past barriers that You have not erected, we pray for endurance to withstand the temptation to give up; we ask for discernment to know Your path. Father, we pray that we stay connected to You, that when we slip, Your hand will lift us up. We ask that our eyes and ears are open to see the course that You have charted before us, that we have humility to recognize when we have gone off course. Fill us with Your Spirit, revive us, awaken us and renew us! We can do nothing apart from You! We give You all honor and glory! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Right now, take a moment to ask God to show you where you are in His race. If you have wandered off course or have been focused on the wrong prize, humble yourself before Him and repent, asking Him to show you what next to do.
Additional Scriptures: Philippians 3:12-16; Matthew 6:19-21