Feet set. Head up. Eyes focused. 3…2…1… run! Don’t let up now. Run your race. Who are you running for? You run for the glory of God.
“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.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
Run for a prize that endures into Heaven, where the prize of Jesus lasts forever.
Run for a prize of eternal life, where our hearts beat for infinity.
Run for a prize of every heavenly gift stored up in the Heavens for God’s beloved.
Run for the King. Serve for the King. Speak for the King. Love for the King. Work unto the King. Live for Jesus’ love to be manifest in the world.
“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.” 1 Corinthians 9:25
Run for a reason. A holy reason. An eternal reason. A God-purposed reason, spurred on by the Holy Spirit who rallies you onto victory at every turn. He is with you and you will rise in faith with His supernatural power within you.
Do everything with excellence, to highlight the excellence of Jesus. He is the sinless, perfect King of glory and you were called to imitate Him and no one else. Reflect His character by getting to know Him. Express His love by sharing your own love with Him in relationship. Share His hope by keeping yours up in the spirit.
“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” 1 Corinthians 9:26
When you run with Jesus, you run with power and direction. He tells you where to go. He empowers you to take every step with excellence so that it impacts everyone around you with the reality of God’s miraculous power. God is the most excellent One. Reflect Him and His excellent spirit.
“Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:12
Excellent behavior. Running your race requires excellent behavior because you need self-control to stay focused. You need grace to not get distraced by evildoers. You need love to remain loyal to Jesus. You need perseverance to carry you when your body feels week. You need character to sustain you when temptations to quit arise. Keep running and you won’t have to give in or give up. Keep running and the Lord will keep speaking into your ears, telling you what you need to hear and know. Silence the voices of every other voice that speaks against Jesus. Those voices are not your coach. Only Jesus His and His Holy Spirit.
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 31:21
Directions flow effortlessly from the Lord who chooses your ultimate goals and destinations. Every point on your journey was led by Him and will be led by Him, for He is the author of your story and He delights to lead you. Some directions take you into vulnerable situations so that you can learn to overcome. Some directions take you into safe places so you can rest. Some directions take you into temptations so you can be tested and made stronger. Jesus Himself was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit in Matthew 4 to be tested by the devil. But after 40 days, the devil was gone and he ate with the angels ministering to Him.
Jesus’ spirit of excellence would not let the devil overrule him on anything. Jesus did not need to fight the devil. He did not need to kill the devil. Not yet, at least. All He had to do was recite the Word of God and the devil had no way of refuting it.
“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Matthew 4:5-7
The devil tried to tempt Jesus with proving his immortality. Jesus did not need to prove himself though. He knows exactly who he is. What the devil thinks about it makes no difference, and yet it is ironic because the devil does in fact know who Jesus is too. The devil was there at the origin of earth when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and the Lord stepped in to curse him and protect Adam and Eve. The devil knows that everyone is immortal. We are. Either we choose Jesus or something else, but every soul will live forever. Yet, it was not Jesus’ way to throw Himself off of a cliff to prove to the devil he could. Jesus did not need to do anything the devil asked him to do. Neither do we. We follow Jesus alone.
Jesus’ spirit brings excellence to your whole life when you follow Him. Why? Because everything He teaches you is a higher way of living. All His decrees are excellent in nature. All His commands are excellent.
The longest psalm in the Bible is Psalm 119 which solely describes how much King David loves the commands of the Lord.
“Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.” Psalm 119:97
Think about Jesus’ words.
Jesus makes you excellent.
Run with excellence in everything you do. People are watching. Show them there exists a higher Kingdom worth living for.