Disqualified in the race?

download         As a kid growing up with “stock car racing” in the family, I remember the “Black Flag”. If you were racing on the track and the official waived that flag as you went by, you were disqualified and you had to pull off the track and go to the pits immediately.

After the Apostle Paul had just finished writing about how he “became all things to all men that he might save some” and “for the gospel’s sake”, he then likens it to a “Race”.

If we have been born again, we are put into this race. We should look at this race as if “one is going to receive the prize”. We should thus run as one who is going to run in such a way that we will “obtain”, or “win the prize”.

In this race to win, there is no indication of sitting back folding the arms and enjoying the ride. If that were the case, then of course, one would not even be in the race in the first place. Sitting on the sidelines watching and doing nothing would be the case.

The Apostle Paul then lists the key to “obtaining the prize”. And what might that be?

TEMPERANCE. Basically, self-control. It is one of the “fruits of the Spirit”. He said that everyone who “competes for the prize”, or actually is in the race, is temperate in ALL THINGS. What! All things? Whoa!

And what might this “prize” be that he is referring to? It is an “imperishable crown”. Nothing of this world. This is not a literal crown. This is “THE CROWN OF LIFE”. It’s the crown that Jesus refers to that will be given to all those that will be “faithful unto death”. (Rev.2:10)

Paul goes on to say, that because of this, he runs “not with uncertainty”. There is NO not knowing where one is going. No haphazardly living involved here. One is to be “striving to win”. He likens it to a “fight”. It’s a battle. And if we are not in the race, there is NO battle, NO striving.

Fighting to win the crown of life. Not “effortless” living, but spiritual fighting, spiritual living.

He then closes his discourse with the main subject that he is referring to. “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection”. There is NO winning without discipline. Any coach will tell us that. And here, the Apostle Paul is coaching us. Not only here, but throughout God’s word we find almost unlimited references to spiritual discipline. We find how very important it is to keep our fleshly appetites at bay. Why? Because the Spirit wars against them. One is going to win. The question is, which one?

The bottom line is this. There can be NO winning the crown without discipline/temperance. NONE.

He sums up the reason why this is so important. Because all of us are “preaching” to other’s. We might not be up on the podium at church, or on the street corner preaching, but our lives are preaching to other’s everyday. They are watching and listening.

Would we want to become “disqualified” in this race?

(see 1Cor.9:19-27)

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2 Responses to “Disqualified in the race?”

  1. godsloveandlaw Says:

    I remember those days brother. The smell of the fumes the loud sounds whirling by as those cars ran by. Unfortunately we could not discern it at that time but we were “worshipping our idols”. Now, as the Lord has shown, we are to turn from such worldliness and go for the “crown of life” (Rev. 2:10)

  2. Richard Says:

    Yeah brother, idolatry is huge in our day. But, we must always remember that those who have yet to be saved, that’s what they do. They serve other gods. Thus the need for Jesus!

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