BIBLE READING: I Corinthians 9
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Paul had a black and white perspective on things. He was always kind, and yet straightforward. Paul observes that this life is like a race. We are running against competing forces. He illustrates this by comparing it to his modern-day sporting events. He insinuates that there is a prize to win and there are others trying to keep you from that prize. We are not saved to stroll through life just to smell roses, watch sunsets, and sip on coffee. (Although I do enjoy sipping on good coffee). We are in a race, and Paul almost like a coach in a pregame speech says, “so run”.
Paul says in verse 25 that those who are working hard or striving to win must learn self-discipline. That is what the word temperate means. He says that individuals that are disciplining their body to earn something as meaningless as a trophy, should motivate us who are trying to obtain something so much greater than a trophy. We have to constantly fight our flesh in order to run the race for Christ that we are to run.
In verse 26, Paul teaches there is not just a race to run, but there is a battle to “fight”.
Like a boxer who is training punches the air, Paul says we are not that fortunate. We are fighting real, evil forces. It is going to be a fight Paul says, “so fight”.
Paul makes it clear in this entire passage that if you’re going to “run”, and if you’re going to “fight”, it is going to be a battle against your own body, your own flesh. It is a daily struggle. I encourage you today, Satan is going to fight you, “so fight”.