“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
I Corinthians 9:24-27 NKJV
My life has moved past the point where I can lean on my performance as evidence of progress. I can no longer take pride in the visceral. I remember in my more able days in the Lord, I could serve daily and tirelessly. Most of my emphasis was focused on the accompaniment of tasks. I was involved in some kind of ministry six days per week at one point.
As my time is winding down, and my body aging, I turn my attention to the spiritual core of ministry. I find that I am spending more time seeking the heart and mind of God as I give more and more of time to Him. I feel like I am mining the depths of God’s mercy and grace and finding that His supply is endless.
Though, I no longer press forward to physically serve, I do strive for the finish line of faith. Each morning I seek to deepen my understanding, my knowledge of the Holy One. As I seek Jesus, He is transforming me day to day, and severing the bindings of the old man, that lead me to sin.
In my fleshly life, I battled for things that were volatile, gaseous and vague, like “success.” I often found that once I reached the place I thought was the height of my pursuit, the pinnacle, I felt empty. I was striving for a goal that was in its nature uncertain.
In my faith, I am striving toward a goal that is certain, with the Holy Spirit assuring me step by step. The closer I get to the finish line, the more I know I will be victorious as it is the Lord who is carrying me to the ultimate victory.
In the past I relied on my own efforts to accomplish the things I desired to do for God. In my weakness, I rely on the strength of the Lord to glorify Him. That is the marvel of the faith. It is all God. He paid my sin debt through Jesus’s death on the cross, the Holy Spirit gives me the power to live holy and blameless.
When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, they were wrought with carnality. They were caught up in the worldly system and shared its values. Paul brought the model of holiness. I am at a point in my life where the world has little to offer me. The things that people desire are needless for me as I do not have the strength to benefit from them. I am to abide.
Even in my current state, sin can abound if I am not careful. I die to self daily as I do not want my own testimony to be damaged. I am still in the race, not for my salvation, but for the witness I bring to others. I take my assurance and battle forward for the opportunity to lead others to so great a salvation.
I race forward, pressing toward the tape, looking to the victors crown, a crown imperishable! In the world, the rewards don’t last very long. But those of the Lord are eternal.
Believers, seek the Lord! He will transform you day by day! Finish the race!
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!