RUN…….TO GET THE PRIZE
RUN…….TO GET THE PRIZE
Feba Ben Thomas, SWMI
Greetings to all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Spiritual life is a running race in which a believer runs like an athlete towards eternal home. For an athlete, a race is not about crossing the finishing line but winning prizes is his matter of significance. The gold he wins in the race can only match the strenuous efforts he has taken for it. Otherwise, he would feel empty. So, to be triumphant, he has to strive hard both physically and mentally. He should prepare his body and mind to face tough competition from his opponents to achieve what he is aiming for.
A believer begins his spiritual race from the moment he accepts Jesus as his personal Saviour. He has to go through difficult times during his course of running. He should endure all such crises to finish the race and receive prizes from our Lord on that “Beautiful Day”. In 1 Cor 9:24 (NIV), Paul the Apostle says, “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.”
Yes, all the runners in a race may cross the finishing line but only one can strike the gold. It would be pleasing for Him if our God can present prizes to each and every one of His children reaching eternal home. So ,as Paul says, we should run in order to get the prize.
We should have that unquenchable thirst which cannot be satiated by anything else other than the great rewards our Father has in store for us. We long for certain things while we are living in this world but God wants us to give priority for eternity and the inestimable rewards awaiting us there. In Col 9:2 (NIV), Paul encourages his brothers in Christ at Colosse to set their minds on things above and not on earthly things. We, as heirs of His inheritance, cannot ignore this truth and run.
How should we run this spiritual race?
1. Gal 5:7 (NIV) – Run without stumbling on hurdles we may come across that can hinder our progress.
2. Heb 12: 1 (NIV) — Run with perseverance
3. Phi 3: 14, 1 Cor 9:24 (NIV) – Run towards the eternal home so as to win the prizes.
It is a known fact that all races are held under certain rules and regulations. The athletes competing in the race must adhere to these rules irrespective of their performance levels or accolades they won before or the acceptance they have among the crowd watching them. Otherwise, they will be disqualified from the race. An athlete always sets his eyes in the prize which will be awarded to the winner of the race. This prize he can get at the end of the race motivates him to run as consistent and fast as he can. Nothing around him could disturb or shift his focus. Though he sees his opponents falling on track or giving up race in between, he should move ahead. If he loses his focus and looks somewhere, he will falter. In short, an athlete has to keep his focus on the prize, run with determination and steadfastness till the end to win the prize.
Likewise, on the spiritual track, we have to run according to the commands given by God. If we deny them and run, we will have to face its consequences. It is not easy to run in accordance with the Word of God but we have to. It requires courage and strength to sacrifice many things. When we stand for God and His Word, we may be insulted by people watching us, we may be deserted by our families and friends, we may be subjected to persecutions even to the point of losing our lives. We shouldn’t give up. We should remember one thing that the Grace of God is sufficient for us to overcome these testing times. Sometimes people running with us may retard our progress through their words and deeds knowingly or unknowingly. As we are running our race in this world, we may be persuaded to withdraw from the race for temporary benefits or tempted to change our lane against the will of God for “perishable things”. We need to tide over temptations by holding on to our God.
Nothing can stand against us for finishing our race triumphantly if we are able to think of the great love of God for us. He made a sacrifice by giving His one and only Son to purchase us from this world .It is beyond our words can describe. So, what shall separate us from the love of God? The valuable thoughts of God’s love and the prizes He has in store for His children must be the driving forces to complete our race victoriously. We may see many falling down on track and giving up the race but we should keep on running according to the Word of God. Only then we can say along with Paul,
“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”.
Just visualize that “ Beautiful Day “ when God will reward each and every one of us in the presence of tens of thousands of His saints like that of an athlete being awarded the prize by esteemed people, when he stands on the victory stand, in front of thousands of spectators shouting in jubilation. What a marvellous day will that be?
So run faithfully and steadily to get the prize.