Run The Race, Then Pounce on That Prize
In I Corinthians, Paul said,
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. I Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV)
We’ve all seen footage of foot races, especially long races, like the Boston Marathon for example. The runners select a steady pace that will allow them to run the entire race, but they give the race their full attention, focus, and energy. Successful runners don’t stop to check their phone messages or to send a text to friends. And I have never seen a serious runner post a selfie while running a marathon! They are focused on the race and in winning the prize.
Fulfilling our call as Christians and accomplishing those things that the Lord has called us to do is what the race is all about. How many of us become distracted from the goal by the busyness of life? How many of us decide to stop and take a break right in the middle of the race because we are tired of running? How many of us allow disappointments to slow down our pace? And how many of us quit running because the enemy tells us we can’t possibly cross the finish line?
In I Corinthians, the word “obtain” is a Greek word, katalambano. Katalambano is formed from the two words kata, which speaks of something coming downward and lambano, which means to seize something. Katalambano describes someone who has been searching or working for something a long time and it is finally within reach, and the person has been so determined so long that he practically pounces on what he has been seeking. It’s a strong word to show someone grabbing or taking possession of something and not allowing himself to be denied. That is how we should be with fulfilling the assignment God has given us.
We must run a steady race, a race with purpose, a race on which we are totally focused. And we should run as someone driven to finish. If we keep our eyes on God, He will give us the strength to complete the race. We must run the race with determination and be ready to pounce on the prize at the finish line.