What’s in it for me? That is what we want to know before we compete in any competition. When we go to the mall and see the white boxes and sheets of paper placed next to a rugged ATV or shiny car, we want to know what we’ll get for completing the paper and dropping it in the box. If we really like the ATV or car, we may be willing to endure the time-share marketing calls for a chance to win the prize.
In the mall, winning the prize depends on chance, not on how we compete. We can complete the paper with 100% accurate penmanship with all i’s dotted and t’s crossed, not win the prize, and get unwanted contacts from telemarketers.
GOD IS NOT A COMPETITION. GOD IS NOT A CHANCE. GOD IS THE REAL DEAL. GOD WANTS EVERYONE TO WIN THE ULTIMATE PRIZE.
The Ultimate Prize is an imperishable relationship with His Son, Jesus, and an eternal life of abundance. That sounds like a pretty impressive prize doesn’t it? That sounds like it would be “worth” winning.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
God wants to provide us the ultimate prize of peace, goodness, future, and hope. He is not hiding or keeping things back from us. It is His desire that we win and take hold of this Ultimate Prize.
In the Old Testament, God chose Israel to get a new piece of land. He wanted to give them a territory that flowed with milk and honey. The prize was theirs. The land would be given to them. However, the original recipients failed to obtain the prize. There were things that kept them from “winning their prize”.
1 Corinthians 10 tells us these “NOT TO DO” things. These were the things the chosen people of God did that kept them from entering the land of promise. Their land of peace, goodness, and future prosperity was never given to them because they did not “compete to get it”. They strayed from the path of winning.
The specific details of their experience is shared with us in 1 Corinthians 10 for our example. LET US LEARN FROM THEIR FAILURE TO WIN THE PRIZE!
The writer of I Corinthians, Paul, tells us we should live our life always to WIN THE PRIZE. We should compete to win. The prize we are running for is the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. We are running toward the One who has won it all for us. He has obtained the prize and it is kept in Heaven for us. We just have to keep in the “GO” steps to win the prize.
God has provided each of us peace, goodness, hope, and a future. It is up to us to run to win it, to compete to get it. Romans 8:31 says “If God be for us, who can be against us?” God who freely gave His only begotten son for us, will help us moment by moment to win the Ultimate Prize.
You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. God has shown everyone the way of salvation, but it is our responsibility to take in all He has provided through His Son so that we can win the Ultimate Prize. Whoever goes after God to win the prize, gets it. (Romans 10:13)
Keep running, competing, craving good, serving God, acting morally, knowing God is faithful, speaking happily, knowing you can be tempted, relying on God’s faithfulness, keep looking for God’s deliverance, enduring always, and clinging to God.