And every man that striveth for mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (KJV).
Wow, how amazing to watch seasoned athletes perform on the field. Athletes who have given themselves quality training and preparations for the games or events that they have chosen to participate in.
These events are usually an exhilarating experience to watch. In the events of the competition, both the athletes and their fans are highly charged, animated, and elated. They are also filled with mixed emotions, anxiety, and anticipation.
Every athlete on that field believes that they have trained extremely well, and thus deserve to win the race. They have their eyes set on the prized trophy.
However, when the bugle or gunshot goes off, and the actual race commences who put in more effort than the rest of the participants would eventually emerge. There will, without doubt, be a first position, second position, third position and we can keep counting down the line. Sadly, in most cases, each position can only be won by one person alone.
However, does this mean that the others who were not numbered among the initial positions did not train for this event? Not at all, the issue is that they may not have gone the extra mile in terms of training and preparations like those who achieved the top-ranking positions.
Now for those who came out as top winners, one can only imagine their joy and excitement. Months and years of extreme practice have paid off. They had put themselves under the most excruciating training one can ever imagine for them to come this far. All this effort was put in to obtain, just as our Bible verse for today terms it a wreath-an earthly reward that is temporal, that will soon wither or fade away.
The illustration using athletes was Apostle Paul’s idea. He used it to compare the attaining of an earthly reward versus that of a heavenly reward. Just like the athletes in our Bible illustration, every one of us has certain things in life we train or prepare for. A few of these ventures on the list are education, business, life skills, marriage, parenthood, and all forms of interpersonal relationships, etc.
However, there is a training process for a particular venture far more important than the earthly ventures mentioned above, to which we must give our primary attention. The reason is that this training and venture drives and puts every other aspect of life here on earth in their correct or proper perspective. Offering more meaning and purpose to what we desire or want on earth.
This training or preparation is for the spiritual and eternal life that we are expected to live here on earth and in the life to come. It is worthy to note that the quality of our training and preparation for this kind of life will determine how far we will go in our walk and relationship with God here on earth and after we exit the earth. Also, this training will determine to what extent we are going to be successful in the other earthly ventures mentioned earlier.
So, what does this type of training for the kind of spiritual and eternal life we envision entail? The following are a few modalities that may answer our question.
First, it would be training that would entail for us to particularly consider building a stronger and closer relationship with God.
This would mean seeking the presence of God, through His Son Jesus Christ. Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior is the start off point in this training process.
Other criteria to ensure that we are successful in this training process would be to have the word of God and the Holy Spirit as our daily guide and companion. Spending time in God’s word and conferring with the Spirit of God is not an option for us, it has to be a daily practice if we have to be successful in the life we are looking to gain.
Therefore, to sum up, our discussion, we may conclusively say that by daily exercising ourselves in the word through the Holy Spirit, we will develop the muscle needed to accomplish the goals and objectives required for spiritual and eternal life both here on earth and in the life to come.
Here are more Bible verses to support our reflections for today – 2 Timothy 2:15; 2Timothy 3: 16 – 17; Acts 17:11 & Joshua 1: 8
The extent to which we are focused and determined to run this Heavenly race, will be the extent of our chances to achieve the full rewards and gains that Heaven offers.
Ebimobo W. Obasi.
PLEASE PRAY ALONG:
A Prayer for Self-Control and Discipline.
FATHER GOD, You gave me a spirit of self-control and discipline for this life, but also for eternity. Please help me to exercise these gifts faithfully. Please ensure that my sacrifices are not made in vain. In JESUS MIGHTY NAME AMEN.