Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others., I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.1 Corinthians 9:26-27
I used to be a runner.
I LOVED running. Like, seriously loved it. There was this sense of freedom I had every time my Brooks hit the pavement. I would listen to a teaching or worship music and just sense God there with me. I scheduled time for my runs. Especially when I was training for a race. I used an app to map out where I would run that day, it gave me an indication of how long my run would take based on my normal pace. I had a goal of the pace I wanted to have for every run. I never ran aimlessly. Every run was for a purpose. To get better. To feel better. Like Paul said, I never ran like someone running aimlessly.
Do we approach our prayer life this way?
Or do we haphazardly mumble out a few sentences in our chaotic morning routine? If we want to live a holy life we have to plan for it. It will not happen by accident. You won’t wake up one morning and find that you have overcome all of the things that try to take you down. No way. That’s not how it works. But if you carve time out of your day to read the Word, listen to God, ask for direction, things will begin to change. Paul said he makes his body his slave so that he will not disqualify himself in the race. Seems like a weird thing to say, doesn’t it?
But our spirit is not a slave to our body.
Or at least it shouldn’t be. Our desires shouldn’t be running this show. That’s what addiction looks like. No, our body should be a slave to our spirit. So, when we think we want something that is not good we can tell our body “no way” and our body will listen.
Need a little help praying to get your body and spirit in the right order? Here’s a prayer you can use:
Jesus, your physical body was not in charge of Your life. That is evident in the fact that you surrendered it on the cross for my sins. You came to this earth with purpose and you humbly fulfilled it. Will You please show me how to do the same? Will You show me how to allow my spirit to be led by The Spirit so I can overcome? I pray this in Your name, amen.