Be Disciplined to Run Your Race

  • 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
  • Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, 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 on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
  • 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 …Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training…
  • 1 Corinthians 9:27 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.

We need discipline to run our race to win the prize – the crown of righteousness. 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 (1 Corinthians 9:25). Our goal needs to be to fulfill the plans that God has for our lives by obeying His Word and His leading. This requires discipline. We need discipline to make God our first priority, we need it to crucify our flesh (thoughts, emotions, will and body) and make it obedient to the Word, and we need it to spend time in prayer, praise and worship which will enable us to be led by the Spirit of God.

How to discipline yourself:
  1. Paul struck a blow to his body to make it his slave. You need to do the same. It’s not a matter of “if you feel” like doing what the Word prescribes, it’s doing it. Lavish God with thanksgiving, praise and worship daily. It will bless His heart but will also develop your spirit and deepen your intimacy with Him. It’s a requirement for what He needs you to do for His kingdom. You can’t heal the sick or cast out demons if your spirit is not filled with Him on a daily basis. If He leads you not to go into a certain establishment, you need to be sensitive to His leading.
  2. Crucify your flesh – thoughts, emotions, will and body – and make it align to the Word of God. If the Word says to walk in love, that’s what you need to do. If it says there should be no coarse joking then don’t give in to that temptation.
  3. Paul forgot what was behind and strained toward what was ahead. Do the same. Forget your past and don’t let it have a hold on you. What’s been forgiven by God has been forgotten. Don’t let the enemy tell you otherwise and play with your mind. Additionally, leaving what is behind also means that if God has given you new direction for your life, don’t hold on to what you currently have. Look to what God has called you to do and serve Him with all your heart.

Call to action:
Identify three things you can do to discipline yourself and become more like Jesus. Hold yourself accountable to your commitment and keep striving forward.