Summary: This is the second part of a 3 part series "A Winning Mindset."
How Are You Running Part 2.
1 Cor. 9:26-27 (AMP)
26 Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air [just shadow boxing].
27 But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service].
I believe God desires for us to be fit believers and kingdom citizens. God wants us to live in a way that honors him and a life that will draw others to Him. As we go deeper into to this passage in 1 Cor. 9, I want to recap the 2 observations from last week. We talked about running with a Renewed Mindset and running with discipline.
Observation 1: Run With Focus (vs. 26)
To run with focus means that one is doing so on purpose. A result of being focused is successful living. I believe God is calling to higher ways of thinking. How is He doing this? It is revealed through the Holy Spirit. When we run with focus, it means that we don’t allow our brokenness to be a hindrance to achieving our goal. The enemy tries to hold our brokenness against us by attacking our minds and bodies.
Don’t allow your failure to paralyze you but let it be the stepping stone to what is ahead. What should be the goal? Living holy, living a life that honors God, operating at a level with limited distractions. How do you handle the distractions that surface in your life? Sometimes we allow distractions to take us off course. The text implies that we should run with certainty and not uncertainty. This means that you should have convictions about certain things.
As believers in Jesus Christ we should have clear and firm convictions that He is the Lord of all, Jesus is the son of God, His Holy Spirit is relevant and it He brings life changing power. We are living in a day that some don’t have convictions about anything and just about anything goes if it feels good. We should live our life with certainty that there are consequences to every decision. Are your convictions worth fighting for? God is challenging us to have firm convictions that are not blurred lines and we are not moving those lines to justify our actions.
God is calling us to choose a side and fight for it! Fighting for it means that we will have passion for what we believe. When you have passion, your purpose will be magnified and challenged. Why do you think the enemy tries to counter-act everything that relates to your purpose? I believe the enemy does everything to stop us from fully embracing purpose and he knows that you are a threat to the kingdom of darkness.
As I was meditating in this text, the word temperate was highlighted. This word means for one to come to a place of moderation and avoiding extremes. To be within the limits. God wants to bring us to a place in our lives that is not filled with extreme mood swings, changes in our attitudes about Him and about our walk.
The discipline of temperance will show up when you are challenged situations arise or when people push your buttons. Your response has the potential to change the entire situation. Instead of popping off on someone, walk-away. Choose peace instead of being confrontational. Sometimes when you know you are right, let your response be silent! You have learn the process of being temperate. Some have been living a life that has been topsy- turvy which means things are off balance.
The apostle Paul is trying to get us to understand that we should not go through the motions of coming to church every weekend but to develop a mind that is disciplined every day. God’s desire is that we come to a place of discipline so He can use us snatch someone from a wayward path that does not include Jesus Christ. Run with Focus!
Observation 2: Run to not be disqualified! (Vs. 27)
To avoid being disqualified means that you are willing to get rid of unnecessary weight. Don’t disqualify yourself by associating with the wrong people. Don’t let the opinions of other people derail you from your race. Don’t disqualify yourself by dwelling on the past. Don’t disqualify yourself by having a negative attitude.
Don’t allow anyone to hold your past over your head. Rom. 3:23 says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
The writer in Hebrews 12:1. (TLB) Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.