1 Corinthians 9:24-29 Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
I like to win, in everything. In fact, I don’t really see the point in competing if your goal is not to win. Of course we don’t always win in life, but when we compete it should be our goal. Spiritually, we should run to win the prize because the victory is guaranteed in Christ.
The Puritan Samuel Ward wrote: “The heavenly fire of zeal has ever been a stranger upon earth. Few have felt the heat of it, and few have known the nature of it. It puts vigor and agility in in the soul. Zeal is to the soul as wings to the bird and wind to the sails. It is courage to the soldier and mettle to the horse. The true zealot is fervent in the Spirit, not in show; in reality, not in form; for God and not for himself. Zeal is guided by the Word, and not one’s own fancy. It receives praise from God and not men. Zeal leaps over all obstacles as fire passes from house to house. Before it all God’s enemies fall. The devil and the world hate it. Where true zeal is, there will be opposition. Christ calls and urges us to it. True zeal will not fade, it is perpetual.”
If you are going to run, you just as well run with all you have. Practice self-control, and discipline your body, so after preaching to others you will not be disqualified.
Run to win the prize! Paul wrote- I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14