I’ve read the following verses a lot in my lifetime, but today part of it struck me deeply…Let’s read together…
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So, I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I, myself might be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Look at those words…I am not just shadowboxing…he’s saying that he is running with purpose and training…and while doing so he knows he’s fighting already. Shadowboxing is when you are basically punching at the air…he is saying he knows he’s not just punching air, rather he’s aware of that world around us that we don’t often see…and he’s connecting punches even during his training.
Wow! I love this revelation. We are never wasting our time. We are always defeating enemies, even while staying in shape spiritually.
It reminds me of worship…whenever I’m part of a worship team and they call a practice, I take it very seriously in heart and behavior…it’s worship, whether it’s during service or in preparation…some things can’t really be separated.
I also love this line from above…Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I, myself might be disqualified…it’s a sobering, yet very true statement. Teaching about something doesn’t make you holy…knowing truth doesn’t make you holy…Jesus makes us holy. We must stay in alignment with Him and humbly follow Him. We never reach a point when we are so holy and wise that we no longer need to guard our hearts and minds. We do best to remember that.
Lastly, I love how he talks about training his body.
We are a spirit…we have a soul (mind, will and emotions) and a body…remember the scripture that says, my spirit is willing, but my flesh is so weak…the flesh is your body. When you are saved, your spirit comes in alignment with Jesus…but your soul and flesh must continually be trained into alignment as well. That’s why we must be transformed by the renewal of our minds.
Training will be a necessary part of our lives until we reach our heavenly home. That’s just the way of things. We’ve only got this one life to live, we may as well make the most of it…we won’t get to heaven and think…I wish I’d sat on the couch more. Quite the opposite, we will more likely lament missed opportunities for connection with those we left behind.
Let’s decide to be trained and ready…living life to the fullest and embracing our great reward, in time.