“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 a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
I know four men that have each fasted for 40 days. Each one of them, whether people know they’ve done this fast or not, has a certain air of authority about them. An air of spiritual authority. I think their experience has made them closer to God. It has made them take life more seriously. I think it’s because they have beaten their bodies. I looked up the word ‘beat’ and it means “to wear out, treat roughly.” So what do you think of that? Doesn’t the Bible is God’s temple, and we should take care of it? Yes. But the context of that doesn’t mean we polish it up real good and sit it on the shelf. It means we keep it free of evil. So keep your bodies free from evil, and wear yourself out.
I’ve experienced that running aimlessly before. In the few times I’ve worked out in my post-college life, I just kind of run up this block and down this block, not really worrying about where I’m going but just running for a span of time. The last time I remember running for a purpose was I think on Father’s day. We were grilling out in my Dad’s back yard and I realized that our 2 year old had zigged instead of zagged and was hobbling toward a big fat, white hot, Weber grill. I ran. I no longer heard conversation. I couldn’t tell you what anyone else in the yard was doing or where they were. It was just David, the grill, and me. He didn’t get anywhere near it, but for 2 seconds, I was in an incredibly focused run.
What if we pursued Christ LIKE THAT? As if our kids lives depended on it? (they do) As if our own lives depended on it? (they do) As if the future of the world and the imminent glory and return of our King depended on it? (it does)
What addictions, dependencies, and habits do we need to beat out of ourselves so that we may run faster toward Christ?
As we sit in our recliners do we need to hear the word of the Lord through the prophet Haggai “My house remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.”?
Hebrews 12:1-3
            Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
            Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lost heart.

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