How many times in life have you started reading the Bible, but stopped halfway through? How many times did you decide to pray for others and missions at least for five minutes a day and just had that discipline broken in a week’s time? Even if all this is true, do not give in to despair. Don’t give up just because your attempts failed. Try again. You really need discipline in your Christian walk.
Paul compares Christian life to a running race. He says that in a race only one wins. But to us, each one of us, the possibility of winning is offered. So get encouraged. He encourages us to run in such a way so as to get the prize. You, therefore, should have your eye on the goal. But that brings us to the next important step that we need to take to achieve the goal. We need to go into strict training. We cannot allow the little harmless looking attractions of this world take away our time to spend with the Lord. That is costly.
Take for example the time you spent before Television. You may be watching only good programmes in it. How much time are you giving to it? And compare it with the time you give to reading the Bible, prayer and telling others of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Time alone is not the problem. What you see on television somehow has the ability to dull our sensitivity to the Spirit of God. See, most programmes on television are produced by men who do not know God. Their motive is making money. So they’ll fill their programmes with entertainment that somehow has a dampening effect on a heart that is on fire for God.
So value and check your priorities in life. Are you serious about your relationship with God? Then you have to give Him the best time of your day. You need to determine and create a discipline of spending at least one hour a day for reading the Bible and prayer. Even though it appears very difficult, once you get into that habit, it is hard to break.
Paul encourages us by saying that the rewards we get are everlasting. It does not perish like the crown of leaves that the Greek runners used to get when they won a race. So do not run aimlessly, he says. Look at the goal and press on. Persevere in your time with God. Avoid distractions. Be single-eyed in your devotion to God. The Word of God is life; so spend time with it. And prayer is your time of intimacy with God; not only talking to Him, but also learning to listen to His voice.
Definitely, your mind and spirit is willing to undergo discipline. But even a simple thing like your love for some special kind of food itself can prevent you from disciplining your life; not to mention lustful thoughts, sinful habits and wrong friends. Discipline your body and make it your slave. In that there is hope for your walk with God.