“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 am not just shadowboxing.”
Every step in your journey with Jesus should be taken with purpose and intentionality. There’s a heavenly prize ahead—an eternal reward that awaits those who honor God in everything they do.
Living a life on purpose requires self-discipline. This means you won’t be able to do everything that other people do. God’s plan is different from the world’s plan. Being a disciple of Jesus often means taking the more difficult path.
Olympic runners must give up all kinds of stuff in order to go for the gold. They must go to bed at a certain time, eat a certain way, and train at a certain time. They must count the cost of what it will take to win. Then they make the necessary sacrifices, denying their natural urges and inclinations. The rigorous training is never the focus; their sights are set on the prize.
The spiritual life requires discipline.
Paul says every step must be purposeful. Finishing the race God has marked out for you requires a steady commitment and long-term thinking. It requires you to take an honest look at your weaknesses in light of God’s strength, asking him to keep you from veering away from his plans and purposes.
Don’t be tempted by shortcuts. They aren’t short; they lead to delays and self-destruction. Stay on the straight and narrow path and keep pressing toward your goal. Remember the example of Jesus, who was not distracted by the things of this world and made every step count, for he knew of the joy ahead!
September 5 from Open Doors: A Year of Devotions