Focus on the Eternal Prize
Paul was focused. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 Paul says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.”
Paul is saying, I’m focused on an eternal goal. I’m not just running for no particular reason. There is purpose in my pace. There is a prize that I’m running after that will never fade, will never wilt, will never tarnish. I don’t want to focus on the temporary stuff like pleasures, applause and awards. I want to keep my eyes focused on eternity. I want to focus on heaven, and I want to take many people with me when I go.
Friends, if we really want to look and love and live like Jesus that is going to require more than just trying really hard to pull it off. We have to arrange our lives in a certain way that enables God to do the transformation He wants to do in us. We need to go back to the basics of our walk with Jesus and spend time in prayer, worship, serving other people, Bible study, Bible memorization, living in the constant awareness of the presence of God, saying “Yes” to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as He gives you leadership through the day.
Ellen G. White says in Steps to Christ, “Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, ‘Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.’ This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.”
Later in his life, just about at the end of his race, Paul writes to Timothy and says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7.
Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better. It promises benefits in this life and in the life to come. So, stay focused on that eternal prize as you run.
By Elton DeMoraes, D.Min., President