“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)
Not everyone who starts the race finishes it. Paul writes: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things … they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run … not with uncertainty … I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself … become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Paul isn’t talking about his salvation here; that was a settled issue. He’s talking about his heavenly reward, and these particular words should make you stop and think: “Lest … I myself … become disqualified.”
Here are some things that will cause you to stumble on your journey. As you read, pause to meditate over each one before moving on:
- Failure to read God’s Word and pray every day. We all have the same 24 hrs. What else do we spend the most time reading or watching?
- Saying no to God when He deals with you about a specific area in your life. This places you first over God.
- Moral failure stemming from wrong habits and relationships. These come between you and a Godly relationship.
- Allowing doubt and fear to cripple you. This is a tool of Satan.
- Wasting time on frivolous pursuits instead of focusing on the “one thing” God has called you to do. These are activities we choose perpetually over God.
- Succeeding in your career and failing at home. Wrong priorities.
- Not sowing your treasure, talent, and time into God’s kingdom, resulting in a lack of resources to fulfil His will for your life. The list could go on ad infinitum.
Heavenly Father, Search me, O God, and know my heart … see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.