“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.” ~1 Corinthians 9.24.
I was reflecting on this today, and Father drew my attention to the fact that this is a race. Once we’ve entered the narrow gate of the Kingdom, it’s easy to be entranced with the beauty and the riches and the glory of the route we’re on. It’s easy to look at our life as a saunter in an amazing park on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
I don’t know if we get to saunter in the park later or not; the evidence isn’t clear, but it suggests that we’ll be “ruling and reigning,” and that sounds like work.
If it wasn’t clear enough, he goes on:
“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.”
This does NOT say, “Never rest,” nor does it say, “Do this in your own strength,” which are the two ways the American church has generally interpreted it, and why the American church has ignored the command altogether.
If we’re not pressing forward, if we’re not stretching ourselves, if we’re not more deeply invested than we think we can handle, we may not be even in the race.
Run to win.