(1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-25) Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain. And every man that sriveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
It is not over until it is over goes a popular saying. No competition in this world can be likened to the heavenly race. This one race that satan the arch enemy of Christians does not want anyone to win. He deploys strategies both spiritual and physical to ensure that all believers are ensnared in a perpetual bondage. It is a race he (satan) couldn’t finish, he knows the prize to be obtained, he has seen the glory which is above, he knows what a Christian stands to gain if he/she shall finish the race victoriously. So he is fighting Christians with the last drop of his blood to prevent them from making heaven at last.
A close study on athletes in recent times has ministered more to me about the Christian race. They train vigorously, disciplines their body and appetite, have exceptional motivation, think critically and have an outstanding focus. All sportsmen have one major goal before every competition; to win. Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians which we have above, likened the Christian race to athletes in a competition.All of them desire to be a winner; an attitude which characterises their strengths.
In the contest of the Christian race, we are contending for victory. The passage under study emphasizes that everyone is running to obtain a crown. Now it is necessary for you as a child of God to have it at the back of your mind that you are not just running this race because others are in the competition but you ought to realise that you have a purpose; to obtain an incorruptible crown, to make heaven at last.
In a similar vein, the Christian race can be seen as a man going out for war. He knows he is not going out there to play and joke with his adversaries because they are looking out for him to terminate his life. So he is cautious, vigilant and strategic. Ephesians 6:12 tells us something great, ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’. In these last days my brethren, there is no time for Luke-warmness and lethargy in your Christian lives. Devil is not sleeping, he is not smiling with you, he is also running his own race gathering the much he can for hell fire. Am sure you do no desire a place there, God forbid!
In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul the apostle tells us further ‘Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’. As you can deduce from the above passage, the attitude of someone in the Christian race is that he/she presses forward and forgets all the atrocities in these evil days and the so called enjoyment that draws souls of men into perdition. You have to be praying like you’ve never prayed before, don’t see yourself as if you have achieved all you desire in Christ, No! Continue, there is no time for relenting, no space for crawlers, put in all you have.
Warning!: the basic strategy the devil is employing in these last days is taking advantage of people's peculiar situation. It could be that you are of a marriageable age and suitors are not forthcoming, it could be that you are undergoing a financial snag, maybe your unbelieving spouse is asking for divorce, maybe your children are just too wayward, maybe you just lost your job, it’s possible you’ve been married now for years but no fruit of the womb. Yes! Jesus knows and understands your situation; He is fixing it for you. Never allow the devil to take advantage of your present temporary situation to deceive and drag you to hell.
Read and study the word of God like you have a world class exam(which is corruptible though) to write. Consecrate your life every day so that you will always be worthy for the masters use. Serve the Lord the more, don’t consider how tired you are to attend a Sister’s fellowship or to pray, the grace of God is already sufficient for you.Strive on dear brothers and sisters, tomorrow is not an option, the time is now, this world will soon be no more, in this heavenly race, will you obtain that incorruptible crown of life?
On the last day, can you join Paul the apostle to say ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearance.’ Beloved, Jesus loves you, and He wants you win at the end of the race. God bless you.