Get That Whip Out!
Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 9
1Co 9:24 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. 25 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. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
If any of us wonder whether SSA men and women have a more difficult time resisting temptation than other Christians, maybe today’s thoughts will answer that question. Of course, anytime we study the life of Paul we should already know the answer. Paul had an extremely difficult life as he attempted to serve Christ and spread the gospel across Asia and Europe. At every turn he was faced with difficulty of some kind; difficulties which most Christians will never have to face.
In this passage, he is comparing the Christian life with a race in which there is only one winner. He did not mean that there would only be one winning Christian; he meant that each of us must live our lives in the same way that a runner would run a race where there WAS only one winner. The runner cannot leave anything to chance. He must do everything possible to help him win.
Our focus today will be upon something Paul wrote in verse 27. He BEAT his body in such a way that it became his slave. That doesn’t sound like we should expect to have an easy course as we each run our own personal spiritual gamut through life. The Christian life isn’t supposed to be easy. What has caused us to believe that? Paul had his own battle with temptation to sin. He described it in vivid detail in the book of Romans. Now we can get back to our main point. What does it mean that we must “beat our bodies and make them our slaves?”
We must be disciplined. We cannot allow our minds, a part of the body, to lead us to pornography. We have to “beat” it, implying that we bring our minds into submission. We cannot allow temptation to linger within our minds any longer than the first moment it arises. We must not allow our minds to trick us into believing we can drive past that park and easily resist the urge to turn into it. Our minds must be “beaten” so that it is completely submissive to our will; or more correctly stated, submissive to the will of our Lord.
Our mind is a powerful entity. If we are fully determined to control it, we must expend some serious extra energy in order for it to become a slave to righteousness. We must not allow ourselves to believe that we cannot control and enslave our minds. It will require that we take on the mind of a runner in a race. Our competitive spirit, controlled by the Holy Spirit, must be fully energized to finish this race the victor. Any effort less than that will cause us to stumble and fall over and over again, as many of us do.
We will always have trouble staying on course until such time as we fully enslave our minds, forcing it to keep running at full speed toward the finish line. Let us quit believing that our lives should be easy. Let us quit being spiritually lazy. We have a very difficult task ahead of us – that is to become more like Christ every day for the rest of our lives.
Our enemy does not have the power to force us to make wrong choices. He only has the power to provide opportunities for us to fail. Our greatest enemy is ourselves. Check out this link:
Prayer: Father, we know we have been lazy. We have not focused on the task ahead of us in the same way that a runner approaches a race. That sounds like a lot of work, and it is. Yet, that is what it will take. Give us the desire and the willingness to put all of our energies into running our race. Give us a desire to win. We have been such wimps!!