Ever wonder why you want to change, but you don’t? There are powerful truths in scripture to help you change your mindset and change your life. Have you made a New Year Resolution this year? You want to stop overeating, stop smoking, stop looking at porn; or, maybe it’s, start reading your Bible, praying, or working out. Maybe even stop spending too much money. How are you doing with that? You try really hard, you try to succeed, and for a few weeks, you make it! Then, you fall back into the same old routine, and you forget about your New Year Resolution. You are back to over eating, smoking, and looking at porn. Your Bible lays on the desk (until time to go to Church of course, unless that’s a resolution also), back to being a couch potato and spending too much money. Don’t feel bad, about 80% of people fail to keep their New Year Resolutions by the 2nd week of February! You want what’s right, what’s good, but you also want what’s wrong and bad. Which brings you to a question, “Why Can’t I Change”? Well, with God’s help, you will choose what you want most over what you want now!
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. 1 Cor 9:24-27 NLT
We like to win. No, We Love To Win! However; not all Christians win! Paul, in the above scripture, didn’t say, Run to Finish, or Run to Place, no, he said, Run to WIN!
“If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Ricky Bobby
“If you withdraw without sufficient reason you will be whipped. And this whipping comes after your training which involves thirst and broiling heat and swallowing handfuls of sand.” Greek Philosopher Epictetus
God told Adam & Eve in the garden to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it. The guys with the talents, they multiplied, they were faithful, but one was called wicked. God didn’t say, go into all the world and sleep in, be mediocre and don’t participate.
We must run to WIN! But why are we not winning? Or achieving our goals? Because you’ve been trying for too long. Most Christians have the mentality that trying is good enough. Because we care, we try. We try to quit smoking, start praying more, stop cussing, try to love more, try to stop worrying, try to get into better shape. But the problem is, you’ve been trying for too long!
Stop Trying and Start Training!
Trying never achieves consistent results, but Training does! Trying is an attempt to change, with minimal commitment. Trying gives you plenty of room to fail. Training is a wholehearted commitment to achieve a specific result! You must know the difference. When you’re trying, you might show up, you might have hope. Training give you a game plan and a strategy, When you’re trying, you give up because it’s too hard, or you don’t feel like it. When you are training, you don’t act according to your feelings. You act according to your commitment!
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.” 1 Corinthians 9:25
The Greek word: agonizomai means to contend for victory, to strain every nerve towards a goal.
When someone is training for the Olympic Games. They go into an intense and intentional training regimen. They are on a strict diet, no wine, no junk food. They prepare with extreme cold and heat. They might even have to eat some sand (see above). A marathon runner doesn’t just show up and say, “I didn’t have time to train or prepare, I’m just hear for the t-shirt”!
No, when you are an athlete or competitor you are fighting for something that matters. You have a vision, a goal, a dream, and you have an assignment to win! Trying, apart from training, is unthinkable.
“Train yourself to be Godly”. 1 Timothy 4:7
It doesn’t say Try to be Godly. So stop trying and start training!
You are probably asking right now, “What do I do”? “How do I train”? “What is training”?
Training is doing what I can do today to enable me to do even more tomorrow. You want to run a marathon tomorrow? Walk a mile today! You want to get out of debt by next month? Bring coffee to work, not Starbucks. You want to stop looking at porn, stop browsing the internet. You want to be a spiritual powerhouse? Open your Bible today!
“So 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.” 1 Corinthians 9:26-27
Discipline your body like an athlete! When you are training, you are getting better at what you already are! Change your mindset. You are Training! Training is a devoted commitment driven by a deeper why. You want your marriage to get better, you want a great marriage? Then get into training. You want to be a better parent, a Godly parent? Then get into training! You want to stop looking at porn or getting those hook-ups? Then get into training! You want to be an ambassador Christian? Then Get Into Training!
Who are you? Are you a Warrior? Someone to protect and advance the Kingdom of God? A Jujitsu fighter doesn’t win by trying to fight. They win by training to fight! They are not winning because they beat someone. They are winning because they trained their body to win. You will be a better Warrior and win your battle, because you are training to be what God created you to be!
You will start being successful in reaching your goals when you start training today! Stop trying! With God’s help and a determined mind, start training today!