A drill sergeant, wanting to get his recruits in shape, was pushing them harder and harder. Yelling at them loudly he said, “Fall on your backs. Now get your legs in the air. Now, make them go in circles like you’re riding a bicycle. Higher! Faster!” he shouted. But one recruit was lying quietly with his legs in a “V” position.
Walking over to where he was lying, he glared at him and demanded, “What are you doing? You are supposed to be riding a bicycle!”
“I am, Sir,” said the recruit. “But right now I’m coasting downhill!”
Paul once said, “I am focusing my energies on one thing...and...I am straining to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” He was totally consumed with becoming who God wanted him to be so he could do what God called him to do. This took all of his energies. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training he set aside everything that would distract him or destroy him from being an effective witness for Christ. There was no place in his training program for “coasting downhill” even if the wind was at his back.
As “saints in training” we, like Paul, must stay focused, be diligent, work earnestly, live obediently and strive constantly to receive the “prize” God has for us.
Prayer: Father, we call upon You to make us alert and aware of temptations that would limit our effectiveness. May we live disciplined, determined lives always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: But one thing I do: …straining toward what is ahead…I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:13-14