Run by the Rules
I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:26–27).
I read an article about a British runner named Rob Sloan who finished third in the Kielder Marathon in the UK. Sloan burst across the finish line with a time of 2:51:00. But everyone noticed that he had so much energy and hardly any sweat while the others runners were exhausted. As it turned out, he ran most of the race but then left the course at mile 20 and caught a shuttle bus the rest of the way. As the leading runners were heading toward the finish line, he trotted out of the forest and onto the race route. But it wasn’t long before the race organizers found out what had happened, and Sloan was disqualified. He didn’t run according to the rules.
When you are running a race, you have to run by the rules, and you are told what those rules are from the beginning. In the same way, in the race of life we must play by the rules—God’s rules.
The apostle Paul said, “I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:26–27).
As we run, we have to run according to God’s rules. We don’t make up the rules as we go. We don’t say, “Well, I don’t agree with this rule, so I am not going to live by it.” If that is how we run our race, then we will be disqualified because that is not how it works. God is the one who sets up the rules. We are the ones who need to run by them.
Are you running by the rules? Or, are you facing disqualification?