I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:26–27 (NIV)
When the apostle Paul talks about running the race of life in order to win the prize, he is saying to us, first and foremost, that there’s really only one competitor in the race. That competitor in your life is not another person. If you are comparing yourself to and competing with the runners around you, your pace will become erratic and your run will become difficult. No, in order to win the race of life, you must beat the only true competition you have. That competition is the other runner inside of you, and it is what we refer to as “the flesh.”
Your spirit needs to outrun your flesh. Your transformed mind needs to outrun your old mind.God’s will in you needs to run faster than your will in you.
You aren’t running a race against your friends, your family, the person in the pew next to you on Sundays, or even against your enemies. You are running against you. We all have our fastest time to chase and it’s different for every one of us.
You’re not in this race to run at the pace of your doubts, uncertainties, fears, and hesitations. You’re trying to run at the pace of your faith,your hope,and your confidence in God.You’re not in this race to run at the speed of your impulses and inclinations and emotionality. You’re in this race to run at the pace of your belief in Jesus and your partnership with the Holy Spirit as
the Spirit prompts you to live in obedience to God’s will.
You can’t let the you that doesn’t want what God thinks is best for you, to outpace theyou that wants to live in obedience to God’s will.
We’re not in the race of life to beat those who are running in the next lane, because they’re not our competition. Our competition is the foolish part of who we are. So stop looking around to size up the other runners on the track.Instead, look within and focus your efforts on beating your true competition.