Sunday, June 12, 2022

Running to Win

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1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NET) Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win. Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.

A footballer once gave an insight into the diet of his star teammate. He spoke of how he kept to a very strict diet of high protein foods with lots of fruit and vegetables, and how he avoids sugary foods. This star athlete also has a demanding exercise regimen as he works out 5-6 hours daily, gets to training before every other person, and was also the last to leave. It was no surprise that he has had a very illustrious career filled with great accomplishments and personal laurels as he has maintained fitness for most of his career. And even when most of his contemporaries have retired, he still plays top-flight football as he is in tip-top physical condition.

It is a fact that most athletes who excel in their sport have a strict diet and exercise regimen. This impacts their lifestyle in no small way as it means that there are certain foods they will not eat, certain drinks you won’t find them consuming, and certain activities they simply will not indulge in.

To walk effectively as a Christian, there is a need for the discipline of self-control. Self-control allows you to take upon yourself the yoke of Christ without recourse to personal convenience or popular culture. Self-control helps one to tame appetites and to make them flow in the direction of divine ordinances as prescribed by the Word of God.

A believer equipped with this discipline might be on social media, but his social media engagements are not determined by the trend of the moment. Even though she dresses smartly, her fashion sense is not influenced by what is in vogue. Even in relationship choices, the believer with self-control is not moved by what moves the world. In fact, his prime mover is not external, it is godly and internal. It is the Holy Spirit.

The self-control of the believer is the ability to subject his emotions, will, and desires to conform to the wisdom and prescription of God. It requires wisdom and power. The wisdom to know God’s prescription is enshrined in God’s word. The power is available through the Holy Spirit. As it is said in 2 Timothy 1 verse 6, “For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control” (NET).

Go into today walking in self-control. Trust the Holy Spirit for the wisdom and the power to exercise self-control in all things.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

Yearly Bible Reading: Psalms 54-56 (In Devotional Audio)

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