Like it or not, people are watching you and me to see if what we say is what we mean and whether in times of struggle we stay on course and finish what we started.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Paul wrote: Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run your race that you may lay hold of the prize and make it yours.
When Paul said, "Do you not know," he was actually saying, "Do you not understand? Do you not comprehend?" He was alerting the Corinthian believers - and us - to the fact that they & we were in a race, much like the famous runners that they had watched and celebrated countless times.
Clearly our "race" is our God-ordained assignment. It is the reason we were born. Our destiny and purpose for existence is rooted in you & I completing our mission. To successfully finish this race it will take discipline, commitment, and endurance. God doesn't want us to jump in the race and then bail out halfway through it. He wants us to stay the course all the way to the finish line. Paul had made a decision that he wasn't stopping until he reached the finish line no matter what obstacles he had to face.
Paul was also emphasizing to all believers that when we enter the race of faith, we are placed in the middle of a running track, and many people are watching us. As spectators, they are looking to see how we run. They're paying attention to the battles we win and the issues with which we struggle. Our race is influencing the lives of many others.
Paul challenges us to run our race in a way that encourages the bystanders who are watching from the sidelines to jump into the race themselves and pursue their destiny in God!
The Christian life we lead is no game - it is the most serious competition we will ever face in this world. Yes, many challenges and spiritual adversaries will confront us, but the rewards of a race well-run are enormous.
Every believer is in some kind of race - including you! If you are alive and breathing, God has an eternal purpose for your life.
You may be sitting here not aware of what your particular race is yet, or perhaps your race hasn't yet been revealed to you. Either way, the fact remains that God has a specific plan for every individual.
Victory will require that you learn how to run at a consistent and continuous pace. You can't try today, stop tomorrow, and then give it another shot later.
If we would be consistent, one day after another and stay committed, in spite of what we see - saying yes to the things we need to say yes to and saying no to the things we need to say no to, we will reach our goal. Don't depend on your flesh to feel like doing the right thing. It won't. We must make the decision, "Regardless of what we see or how we feel, I'm not going to quit."
When we have a call of God on our lives, don't be surprised when we experience some hassles along the way. The truth is, the devil is terrified of us. Like Paul, we need to make a decision.
We need to say, "I don't care what the devil or people in the world around me do. God has given me an assignment,
and by HIS strength, I'm going to fulfill it."