I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:23-27).
Running aimlessly…that certainly does not apply to Usain Bolt. He just won his third Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash. He runs with a purpose and a laser-like focus on winning the prize. That is precisely the kind of mindset that Paul is saying we as Christians need to have.
Aimlessly is translated in other versions as “uncertainty.” Living without certainty is a sad life indeed, but for the Christian it is dangerous. We are not shadow-boxing, we are fighting the Devil. This isn’t tee-ball, this is a spiritual battle against the hosts of darkness.
We need certainty, men. We need to fight and run with a purpose.
Let us run this race with certainty…
Run this race with certainty in the promises of a God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Our hope in His promises is an anchor tied directly to heaven, both sure and steadfast (Hebrews 6:17-20).
Fix your eyes on the One, Jesus Christ, who ran this race before you (Hebrews 6:20; 12:1-2).
Focus on the prize, the eternal reward before you (Hebrews 10:35-39).
As you run, be certain of the truth of God’s word (Luke 1:4; 2 Timothy 3:14).
Remember where you came from, and the Savior who brought you to where you are now (1 Corinthians 15:10; John 9:25).
Run with endurance; do not give up, and do not give in, because it is worth it (1 Corinthians 15:57-58)!