Run to Win

June 4, 2019

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. 25 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. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 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.”

I signed up for the “10K Jingle Bell Run” one December in Washington, DC. I had never run more than 5 miles at one time up until that date. My friends from church were challenging me to run it with them, which was my main motivation! For the first several weeks, I dreaded the training every single time I put my shoes on to go. I would think about how I did NOT want to run. Until I got out there and did it and when I came home, I was so glad I went. I finally got to the point where I enjoyed running and would look for beautiful places to run. (Disclaimer: I am not currently a runner).

The run was on a Sunday morning in December. It was 40 degrees with a misty rain but it was actually perfect as we ran along the Potomac River. All was good until the “rein deer with bells on” came running PASSED me…BACKWARDS! This is when I realized, I was not running to win anything; I was running to FINISH! Hahahaha It was a great day as my friends and I finished the race and headed to church. It felt, to me, like  a great accomplishment.

Winning a race means you stay within the rules and boundaries of the race so as to not be disqualified. In God’s set of rules for this race it requires a discipline and focus that is very easy to lose sight of and we all just begin running helter skelter in this life running to finish and running for running sake to say we are runners.  Some are running to win but it is not for an eternal reward, it is for a reward from man and no consideration of God’s reward for them.

How do we train and what is the Biblical definition of winning the race? The truth is, in order to win a race, it’s more about what training goes into the race than the actual race itself. Many of us want to win but we don’t take the time or put in the effort to train for the eternal reward. We just hope that if we show up on race day, we can just do our best.

Training and the disciplines of the faith include: prayer, reading the Bible, fasting, fellowship with others, loving our neighbors, loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and body and obeying God. These are not impossible or difficult disciplines. They require intentionality and consistency. The truth is we are convinced by the enemy that these are impossible and difficult tasks. We dread what it will cost to train, not considering the eternal reward if we actually run to win. We are defeated before we even start because we view ourselves through the eyes of the liar rather than the creator who made us to run this race and equipped us with everything we need to win.

Do you feel like you wake up every day dreading your “race” or have you felt like you are running and running only to go nowhere? Maybe you have gotten off the track and have been running completely away from the race God has set before you to win. When we “go out of bounds” and run on our own, it is impossible to win or even finish properly. Do not run out of bounds. Get back on track, run to Jesus and ask him to guide you, give you strength and help you to run this race to win!

Whenever I ran alone, I would give myself permission to run slow or stop. When I ran with others, I would keep running and push myself. It’s the same in this life, do not run it alone. Get others to train with you, encourage one another to train hard with a purpose and that purpose being to please God and bring glory to him!

It takes so much more to win in this life and what God wants for you is to WIN your race with strength, confidence and excellence. Win with your personal life along with your professional life. You cannot win with one and lose with the other. Your life is one life to live, not compartments where you can separate your winnings from your losses. You have one life that includes your professional life and influence as well as your personal relationships. Most importantly, cultivate and nurture your relationship with Jesus, obeying his calling for you to do all of these things well, bringing glory to him!


Thank you for reading,
Lisa Shuler

Photos from Coffee, Walk, and Talk! Like Above All Else on Facebook for more encouraging posts and to hear about more great opportunities for community.

2 responses to “Run to Win”

  1. Maria Parsley says:

    So great! Thank you for sharing your heart. I love the Coffee, Walk, and Talk! Walking and talking is my favorite way to connect with people. I feel like people can open up a little more in that setting, partly because it’s easier to open up when you are not staring directly into someone’s eyes. I’ve even seen a study on that! Adding coffee just adds to the fun; great idea for a small group.

  2. Lisa Shuler says:

    Thank you Maria! Yes, it’s true. You cannot truly encourage people or help them walk through life, if they don’t know and trust you. Plus we enjoy coffee, walking AND talking 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🏃🏽‍♀️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Seeds to Grow