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  • Writer's pictureJulie Branstetter

Run Your Race

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 says, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one receives the prize? Run [your race] in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours! Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things. They do it to win a crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither]. (AMP)

If "it" doesn't help you "run the race set before you" to win the race, then cast it off. Life is full of distraction, and the enemy of your soul will see to it you have plenty distraction choose from. 

First, let me provide a little bit of biblical background for foundation. Typical to historical Jewish writing, unless the writer was preserving historical chronological record, any other time you see a list of any kind in scripture, the list is given in order of chronological importance or weight. A couple of examples can be seen in the list of spiritual gifts, when blood and water flowed from Christ's side, and in the list of spiritual fruit. The last in the list is the first in the process (the given) as it carries less weight in the overall point of the list. When blood and water flowed from Christ's side, the point of mentioning it at all in the writing was to show proof of His death (pleural effusion), and although, in reality, water physically presented itself first, blood was the more important of the two mentioned, therefore it was mentioned first.

Now then, self control is the last mention in the list of facets of the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is one fruit made up of nine facets. So the most basic aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is self control. It's the groundwork for all the other facets because you need that one to walk in all the others.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness

all require self control!

God's grace enables us to make good use of what His Spirit provides. The Holy Spirit gives us self control, and God's grace enables and empowers us the walk in it. (to use it) 

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:23, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify."

Francis Chan put it this way. "Swimming with a bowling ball is not a sin, it's just stupid."

If what you're spending time doing doesn't help you accomplish what God has called you to do, cast it off and run your race to win it. If it doesn't edify you to win your race, it doesn't deserve your time. It may be lawful for you, but it does not edify you. It's not good for you.

The enemy of your soul has placed road blocks all along the way of your life, so

use discernment because even good things can be a distraction!

Run the race God has set before you, not someone else's race. If you spend all your time trying to sound like or act like someone else, you're not running your race, you're attempting to run theirs. Run YOUR race with the grace and faith God has given to you. Run with your eyes fixed continually on Jesus, without distraction, and cross the finish line.

God has given you everything you need to win your race!

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