TRAINING OF A CHAMPION
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone 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. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Let us continue our discussion from yesterday. As we continue to do all that we can to prepare to go and reach every person that we can, we must also go into some type of strict training to prepare us for the journey. How are you training yourself each day? Are you able to seek ways to be equipped or are you only looking to pour out to others. I will be honest I truly struggle with this type of lifestyle. Many times I find myself pouring out more than taking care of myself and pouring in. So I have made a decision to truly find others that can help me to stretch my spiritual and physical boundaries. The older I get I am able to see that we cannot do this by ourselves. I mean as I look at these professions athletes that we hold in such high regards, we see that they have trainers, nutritionists, optometrists, I mean basically whatever they need they have to make sure that they are in the best physical condition of their lives. Why should that be any different for us as we are continuing to grow in our faith and ability to teach and equip others. I am not saying that we are to have a mentality that we are to become professional christians, but what I am saying is that we need to be training in such a way that we are able to be a CHAMPION for the Gospel. There is a time of reciprocation where we are feeding and being fed.
So as I think through the days that we have been walking through, what a perfect time to step back and look at what we need to train and prepare ourselves for in the next stages of God's plan. I will continue to do my best to prepare our families in a way that they can dig as deep as they want to become stronger in their faith, but the real truth is that they have to have an attitude or desire to want to grow. It does not matter one bit if we have the greatest program for equipping families in the world, if we are unable to take hold of it on a personal level and put in the effort, it matters nothing at all. It would be the same as hiring the best coach or trainer who knows how to get the best out of us and they tell us what we need to do but we don't put in any effort at all. We can not expect our lives to be different in any
way. Everyone has all the potential in the world to do things that God has given us the ability to do, but if we NEVER take the time to use the gift or use then we will NEVER reach our fullest potential for God. I see people with so much ability and talent that could be an AMAZING CHAMPION for the Gospel, but they just are not willing to give their lives to serve God. I mean they can influence people to do anything. They have an amazing opportunity to really connect with people and they just step back and are not willing to use this gift for the glory of God. See to be a champion means that whatever role we play in this world, we are able to see how it can be used to truly change the world. Not just in the current setting but for the Kingdom of God.
Paul is really deep in his words to the people of Corinth and to us today. Yes we are all running in the race, the race that many call the rat race. We are all trying to do the best that we can to keep up with the mysterious Joneses and we don't even know who they are. We continue to beat our bodies to fit into a format that was never required to us by God. Paul said that in the eyes of the world there is only 1 winner, but in the race for eternity, there is so much more that can be won. We continue to beat and train our bodies to push through the uncertainty and the monotony and find a way to infuse the power and love of Jesus into our lives. We have a specific purpose in why we run. We wake up each day and say God I give you every step. I am searching for an opportunity today to truly invest you into the life of someone today. God I want to be able to see outside the walls and recognize that you have called me to spring towards you. It is for a crown that will last for eternity and not one that will fade and be shattered and destroyed by this world. We cannot continue to keep up with the schedule of the world, but we have to be willing to step into the race and help others see the importance of a new finish line.
The race only ends when God calls our names and I hope and pray that I have trained and beat my body into full submission to God. I know that I am not perfect and that there are still days like yesterday that cause me to be beat down a little and struggle in my walk, but the good thing is that I am still taking steps forward. I am still doing all that I can to be able to give God the glory and run the race. I have to step into the race with the world to help show others how to get out. Paul never said that we are not supposed to enter into the race, but that we are to be challenging the world to see things in a new way. We need to find a way to walk with those in the race and help them see things in a totally different perspective. People always think that the only one who is able to win is the one that finishes first. However, I believe that with each race we gain a little more knowledge and are equipped to handle the
next race in a different way. The race of life will continue to change each day, and we need to be prepared to step in regardless of the change. YES, there will be days we feel completely lost. YES, there will things during the race that totally don't make any sense. And YES, there are days that cause us to truly question why we even exist at all. And I just want to assure you that the reason we exist is because God has an amazing purpose for each of our lives. There are so many runners in the race that are running for a prize that means nothing to them. They are completely breaking the air and thinking that if they reach the finish line then they will experience victory. But the real reality is that with every finish line, a new race starts and the only true victory that will be found is in the blood of Jesus. May God bless each of our races today. May we see the unique opportunities that we have to truly engage and to to be engaged... to equip and to be equipped... to run with purpose this thing called life and know that the race will only end when we step into eternity.