Summary: This is the first of two messages to help believers to refocus on their personal relationship with Jesus Christ derived from 1 Corinthians 9:24-26
“A Winning Mindset Series”
How Are You Running? Part 1.
1 Cor. 9:24 (AMP)
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one receives the prize? Run [your race] in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours!
As we enter into the month of September, it represents the start of football season! Now, I must admit, I really don’t know what to expect from a certain team that I root for but I will be optimistic. Even as it relates to our walk with God, we must find ways to be optimistic about our situations. The life of a believer is often challenged with many things such as doubt, challenging life events, culture and social events. How should we respond? Well, we should run our race in a manner that honors God at all times with a mindset that is above our circumstances.
Observation 1: Run With a Renewed Mindset!
1 Cor. 9: 25 Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things. They do it to win a crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither].
Running with a proper mindset forces you to use your mind. I believe this is one of the reasons why the enemy tries to attack the mind of the believer so hard. Many have been on the sidelines too long! Some have been going through the motions in your mind. God’s reply to you is, what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to get in the race! The enemy tries to oppress us with weights and issues that bring confusion. Learn how to be proactive by filling your mind with spiritual things. The word and spiritual songs that create an atmosphere of worship.
How do we counter the attacks from the enemy?
1 Peter 1: 13-16 (MSG) So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”
Holiness is just not a reformation but it is a lifestyle! Holiness goes contrary to our earthly mindset and it brings conviction. Holiness is dying to selfish desires daily. Our Bishop said many years ago “If you cannot give God thanks for it, you should not be doing it!”
Some have gone into a direction that is contrary to the race you should be running. Running with a proper mindset also means that you are desperately seeking the will of God for your life. It does not come easily but it requires us to be sensitive in the spirit. We can’t do unspiritual things and expect spiritual results.
The enemy is trying to keep the saints off balance and unstable. How do we get back to a stable place? James 1:5-8 (MSG). If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
Let God help you navigate your life and allow him to be the first option and not the second.
Observation 2: Run With Discipline!
Running with discipline requires you to exercise the right methods. How’s your method been working? Have you seen measured results, positive or negative? Self-control and discipline affects the decisions that you make. The reason why things are not working in your life is not because of God but it is because of you! The word discipline (paideúo) in Greek means to properly instruct, and a method that trains someone to reach full development (maturity).
This is what God wants for us, that we would reach full maturity. When we become mature in the things of God, we will be less prone to think carnal. What is this? It is about our appetites, urges and temperament. The year of manifestation is all about God bringing us to a place a maturity and perfecting the work that He has called us to.
God is calling for many people to make a 180 degree turn your life. The direction you have been going in, is opposite of God’s best for your life.