Exercise the Soul


Like an athlete readying for a race, plunge yourself into the discipline of the Word and the delight of prayer.

Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating air; but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24–27, NRSV
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31, NRSV

I’m so competitive. I enjoy winning and feel like a failure when I don’t. I’m unhappy to play second fiddle. If I start something, I like to finish it—in style. Some say I have a type-A personality.

It’s strange then, why I sometimes slack off where the Lord is concerned.  Winning takes intention and discipline. A race is a good metaphor for the journey I’m on. My crucial disciplines are prayer, worship and study of God’s Word. I cannot grow without it. I can’t go at them halfheartedly and expect to make progress. This isn’t a stroll we are on, but a full-out run! If it means giving up something, do it. If it means sacrificing self, it’s worth it. This is the life-race we’re meant to be on! Everything we do should be for God’s glory, not our own. If an action won’t honor God, I must refuse to do it. persist in Bible study and prayer. It is the exercise of the soul.

Satan is ready to trip us every chance he can. We need to be ready!

FAITH STEP: Pray, “Lord, help me to put all my energy and obedience toward pleasing You. Don’t let me grow lazy. Like an athlete readying for a race, help me to plunge myself into the discipline of the Word and the delight of prayer. With Your help, it is a race I can win.”

Contributed by 
Judy Baer



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