Thursday, August 2, 2012

Winning the Gold

Today's prayer topic is perfect for the Olympics going on right now! Our focus today is on obedience. Have you had a chance to watch any of the Olympics? I have been watching as much as I can and it is astounding! What those athletes can do with their bodies is phenomenal. Here's the question, though. Did any of those individuals get to that point just because they knew the rules of that sport, or because they had read a lot about it? Did they get there because they decided they wanted to be an Olympian and signed up? Obviously, the answer to both questions is no. Every one of those athletes, when interviewed after their achievements, will claim that the only reason they made it that far was from hard work. They trained, day after day. They pushed themselves as far as they could push. They were never content with where they were but wanted to be better, stronger.

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As Christians, we should be spiritual Olympians. We should never be content. We need to train daily and push ourselves to the limit. Here is what Paul says to us in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

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. 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.  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.

Does that describe you? Do you want to win that gold? If not, then that is what today is about. This discipline comes from a constant obedience to God's desires for you. We begin by having time spent in his word. We cannot be obedient if we do not know what he is asking of us. There is a level of calling, however, that God places on each of our individual lives. That is only determined by seeking God's will through prayer.

As you take time to pray today, ask God to show you what it is that he desires of you. Ask him to reveal any place in your life where you are not being obedient. Ask him if you are where he desires you to be (work, church, relationships) or if he would like you to step out into something new.

"Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules." --2 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)

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