Not everyone who starts the race finishes it. Paul writes: ‘Don’t you realise that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step… I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.’ (1 Corinthians 9:24–27 NLT) Paul isn’t talking about his salvation; that was a settled issue. He’s talking about his heavenly reward, and these particular words should make us stop and think: ‘I myself might be disqualified..’ Here are some things that will cause you to stumble on your journey:
(1) Failure to read God’s Word and pray every day.
(2) Saying no to God when He deals with you about a specific area in your life.
(3) Moral failure stemming from wrong habits and relationships.
(4) Allowing doubt and fear to cripple you.
(5) Wasting time on frivolous pursuits instead of focusing on the ‘one thing’ God has called you to do.
(6) Succeeding in your career and failing at home.
(7) 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.
Make this your prayer today: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart… see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Psalm 139:23–24 NKJV) That’s the kind of prayer God loves to answer!