Heaven Bound: Win The Race!
Billy Graham once said, "Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion; it is like a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ."
Nothing is out of reach when you put your heart into it. Think about it. Who sets the boundaries and limits in your life? We tend to define ourselves; establish our own boundaries. With God, there are no boundaries, only greatness. It is easy to forget who we are and why we are here. It is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of the end reward; however we must always remember to where we are going.
You were chosen by God, created to fulfill His dreams and purpose. Often times so much focus is placed upon ourselves and our own objectives, we forget the reason for which we were created. Just as you dream, He also dreams. Long before you were created, God had a dream and from this dream came your marathon. For His purpose, you were created. Throughout the Bible, God refers to the race and gives a specific training recipe for victory. Are you ready to be a champion for Him?
First, you must go into strict training in preparation for the race:
Do you know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize. 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 for a crown that will last forever. Therefore do not run like a man aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27
These verses tell us that the race will not be easy. It will take hard work, discipline, sharp focus and sacrifice. Sure, it would be easier to sit on the sidelines and be a cheerleader for others. But, I challenge you to join the race and discover what great things God has dreamed for you.
William James said, "Most people never run far enough on their first wind, to find out what they have on their second." The race will be tough and you will face many difficult challenges. Remain steadfast on your journey. You will tire, but do not give up. You will struggle, but persevere. I challenge you to look inside yourself and find your second wind. Develop yourself and your skills to success. Prayer, study and worship will help you develop stamina and excitement for the race, even when you think your tank is empty.
Second, you must turn all of your strength and energy toward winning the race.
Not that I have already obtained this, or have been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Jesus Christ took hold of me. I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 3:12-13
Putting God first and living a Christian life is a challenge. It will take all of your focus and energy. Keep your eyes on the prize and do not look back; there will be time for reflection at the finish line. In every aspect of your life, keep your mission in focus. Losing sight of the prize could cost you the race. Consider not only "what would Jesus do" (WWJD) but also "what would Jesus think or say?" Let Him coach you to victory!
Thirdly, you must exercise your muscles of faith. Just as you keep your physical muscles strong, your muscles of faith need strengthening as well. Like an athlete, you too must develop a training regimen for Christ. You will be a stronger Christian and live a more fulfilling life. Make time each day to praise Him. Spend time in the Bible. You could read one passage per day or maybe a Psalm or two. Praise Him through prayer or celebrate Him through song. Find time each day for you and Him. It is the thought that counts. It could be as simple as having a special candle in your home that you light in His honor. Such a life will be an example to others, drawing them and yourself closer to the ultimate prize.
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:7-8
In today's world, physical fitness indicates strength and good health. It does not matter how physically fit you are physical death is inevitable. How many times have you heard of perfectly healthy people dying of a heart attack? Through building spiritual muscles, you will press onward through tragedy and stress to achieve God's eternal favor. With God's training program, you are guaranteed victory.
Finally, you must fight the good fight now and to the end.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-not only to me but also to all who have longed for its appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Daily, you will face the challenges of the enemy who is bent on tearing apart your faith. The enemy will focus on your passion, knowing if he can destroy it, you will fall away from God. He will offer you shortcuts for the race. He will offer easy success. I caution you. If you take shortcuts during training, you only fool yourself. When the time comes to perform, the shortcuts will only make you a fool. God's grace is without shortcuts. He offers it freely without an agenda. Luckily for us, He has given us the instructions for success through the Bible. All that is asked is that we follow and serve Him.
God is awesome and His reward unimaginable. He never said that it would be easy. Get in shape. Stay committed to His program and one day in Heaven you will receive His promised gift. Keep your eyes on the prize and look to Him in the winners circle.
Copyright Anthony Mullins
Elite Coaching Alliance 2005
Anthony Mullins is the President and Life Coach for The Elite Coaching Alliance. He specializes in personal, leadership, marriage, relationship and family, christian based coaching. He is the author of the upcoming e-book "Finding Fulfillment in and Unfulfilling World". He can be reached by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 770.587.3545. Visit our new website http://www.elitecoachingalliance.com
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