Only One Person Gets the Prize

1Corinthians 9:24(NIV) 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.” All good athletes are disciplined when it comes to their training. One of the defining characteristics about an athlete is they all know they need to train. And they understand that they are not just training for nothing; they are training to win the prize. Even if they only achieve silver medal status, with everything in them, they are training to win the gold. This must be our approach as believers. The eyes of God are upon us, and we should do everything to the best of our ability to please Him. We are on this earth to win the gold, which is highest calling of Jesus Christ. So regardless of what you are believing God to receive, there are elements that He has laid out in 1Corinthians 9:24 that are pivotal to the mindset of pleasing Him and achieving victory in any area of our lives.

Strict Training
As we look around at what is happening in our world today, it doesn’t really give us warm, cozy feelings of sweetness; its hardcore stuff going down. As victorious sons and daughters of God, this should serve as a reminder to us that life is not a game. It’s nothing to take lightly. Spiritual warfare is real, and it is taking place before our very eyes. But even with the backdrop of chaos and confusion, God will keep us if we want to be kept. He will protect us, provide for us, and keep us in His perfect peace. He will place a hedge around us if we are faithful to His Word.

In 1Corinthians 9:25(NIV), the Apostle Paul said, “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.” The earth is training ground for the child of God. This is STRICT training down here! It’s for an everlasting crown, so there’s no foolery tolerated. If a person makes the choice not to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and they refuse to obey God’s Word, their lives are in serious danger. Some people leave this earth prematurely, and it is because they will not recognize that strict equates to diligence, and a diligent commitment is something God requires.

Losing focus loses the race
Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:8(NLT), “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” When you pray repeatedly to cross paths with your future husband, and you pray that your future hubby will spiritually recognize you as his future wife, you must know that God heard you the first time you prayed. You are not praying repeatedly for the same request because you think God is hard of hearing. You are praying repeatedly to demonstrate your diligence and to get your own mind and heart lined up with the blessing you are asking to receive. God knows what we need before we even recognize the need ourselves. He doesn’t need to make any adjustments to give you what you’ve prayed to receive. We are the ones that must adjust.  

Paul said in 1Corinthians 9:25(NIV), “Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” A boxer who beats the air never lands a punch towards his or her target. This is what happens when we’re not focusing on God by living the example of Christ. Your focus cannot be the man, it must always be God. Some women are only going through the motions of spiritual discipline to appease God temporarily, thinking this is how they will get what they want. Their hearts are far from Him, and He knows their true motives. The prize will forever and always be a life in the Lord Jesus Christ. Rewards and blessings come from honoring God for the true prize of living forever in Christ.

Hebrews 11:6(NLT) tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Your mind and heart must be committed to God. This is what the training is all about. It’s learning to become like Christ; this is always the goal. As we grow in one area, another area where growth is needed will come into view. We must be diligent to recognize when we have erred in our feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. Then we must repent and pray to the Father to help us be better. This is diligence, and it must be a habit pattern.

Don’t be disqualified
The Apostle Paul understood what it takes to run the race God has set before each of us and win it. He knew that it is God who fights our external battles. Our mission is to stand, believe, and trust Him, so that when He tells us to move, we know exactly what to do and how to do it. You are the one to fight the internal battle in your mind and heart. You must fight to trust God, and this means that you might have to give up some things. You might have to leave some things behind. Letting go of some relationships, people, and other things in our comfort zones will back our faith. It demonstrates that you wholeheartedly believe that the blessing you will receive infinitely outweighs what you have let go.

You may have a vision of how your relationship should be. You might have a picture in your mind of how the man will look, but every detail of your agenda must be swapped out for God’s agenda. He knows what is best, and your faith in this is non-negotiable. Don’t disqualify yourself from the race by putting limits on God. Don’t yield to your flesh because you think the person is the right fit. Yield to God with humility and a commitment to do what He asks of you. He is in charge of the prize. He has told us how to receive it, and it is guaranteed when we run in such a way as to receive it. ■

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Only One Person Gets the Prize”, written for Copyright©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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