Striving for the Mastery – Part Three

“Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  

I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”  (I Corinthians 9: 24 – 27)

Every athlete who participated in the Isthmus games had assigned to him a coach. The coach was a person who knew more than he about what it took to be the best competitor in his sport. Every athlete regardless of his sport did the same exercises. What made the difference was knowing the finer point of his competition in his sport.  The athlete had to be COACHABLE. 

The athlete’s coach was his master. What he said the athlete did. If we are going to be spiritual victors, we must submit to Christ as our master/trainer.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)

In a more modern day Coach John Wooden, renowned UCLA basketball coach, would always call his team together before each game and say the same thing to them. “I have done all I can to help you. The rest is up to you. Now go do what I have taught you.”

Jesus has taught us all we need to know to win life’s game by His standard. It is time for us to do what we know to do.

A popular modern day discipline is group Bible study. That is good, but it is time to start doing what we already know to do.

There was a church member who needed coaching. Every time his pastor endeavored to instruct him he would say, “Let’s pray about it.” Finally the pastor said one day, “It is time to stop praying and start playing.” Keep studying, but by all means get in the game. Do what you know to do before you look for more to do, because if you don’t do what you know to do the Lord is not going to give you more not to do.

As a college freshman basketball player I got in the game near the end and scored two points. We won by one point. The next day I was spouting off to friends in the campus post office. I said such things as, “I should be the go-to man on this team. I am hot. I should be a starter. If you see the coach tell him.” They said, “You just told him. He is standing right behind you.” I ran laps that day.

Don’t try to tell Jesus what He should do. You do what He has taught you to do. Prove you are coachable. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)