Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Board Game Devotion

We were sitting at a table playing a board game. It was just my husband and me. We were having a great time, but I must admit...

I was losing badly! (Oh, I hate to lose!)

And just at the wrong time, I set him up perfectly for the win. And then it came out of his mouth.

"I am sure to win now!"

He confidently took his turn. He didn't pause. He didn't hesitate. He didn't even concentrate. He was so convinced of his victory that he figured he would just coast in for the casual win.

He failed miserably. Never has a stolen victory brought more joy to me. His final phrase, "I'm sure to win now" has become a family joke and a sharp reminder.

The truth is, we ARE sure to win. The victory has already been guaranteed. But with that assurance of final victory also comes the temptation to "coast" to victory. The last leg of the race becomes sloppy.

Philippians 3:12 "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."

Paul is saying he didn't run as if "he was sure to win now." He ran as if his very life depended on it. Not for the victory, but for the arrival. He wanted the crossing of the finish line to be as victorious as that moment deserved to be.

Philippians 3:13  "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

He admitted he wasn't at the finish line. But he also declared valuable truths.

1) There are things behind me that want to distract me.
2) There is a mark before me to aim toward.
3) I am on the right path, heading in the right direction.
4) I need to reach... I need to press. The prize is ahead!

I ran track in high school for one year. Let me be blunt. I hate to run. I was terrible! I was embarrassing! I was running with some great athletes on my high school team. Well, I should say that I was enjoying chasing after them and cheering them on while I was in pain and being brutally tortured.

Our track coach had a philosophy... if you don't "toss your cookies," you aren't running hard enough. I never tossed my cookies because to me, the prize wasn't worth that much torture. But the race I am in now? Oh, the prize is worth it! It's worth it to press toward and to reach forth!

What's the prize? Being conformed to the beautiful image of my Saviour... and crossing that finish line to hear, "Well done!" from my Father's lips!

If you haven't tossed your cookies... if you haven't faced fiery trials and persecution and hardship for His sake... if you haven't suffered for the cause of Christ, you just might not be running hard enough. Don't coast just because you are "sure to win now"... press and reach all the way through the finish line.

1 comment:

Susan Abbett said...

Thanks for this reminder, of where to keep my priorities. This is a race, and I want to be faitful to the end. Great post!