Run to Win
As we begin this new year, be thankful for life and let's consider how we ought to live.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run,How shall we run that we may win? The subsequent verses give us the answer. We are to run ...
And everyone who competes in the gamesAthletic events called the Isthmian games were once held at Corinth. The athletes went into strict training to compete in the races. Every athlete knows the need to take a proper diet and to abstain unhealthy foods and habits if he were to have any chance of winning.
... let us lay aside every encumbrance,To run to win, we have to lay aside
They then do it to receive a perishable wreath,If athletes in the Isthmian games disciplined themselves for the goal of winning a perishable wreath then shouldn’t we do much more for an imperishable crown?
Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim;With the goal of winning the imperishable crown, Paul did things with purpose ... all calculated to win the race. Like Paul, we need to order our lives and plan activities towards spiritual goals.
Some Christians are of the view that if we truly trust God then all we have to do is pray ... and wait ... virtually doing nothing and waiting for God to work! Faith and planning are not contradictory. There is a place for faith and a place for works (e.g., planning and implementing) in the Christian life. You may want to look up Prov 3:5-6; 16:9 and 19:21 to put planning in the right perspective.
I believe that we ought to pray ... as God is the only One who gives the results; we should also plan and work our plans ... as God has chosen to work through us; we must be prepared to be part of the answer to our own prayers.
but I buffet my body and make it my slave,Paul exercised self-control over his flesh ... realising that he must be on guard and battle against temptation ... afraid that he would lose his reward. May the LORD grant us a disciplined and purposeful year. Run to win the race that is set before us.