To what shall we compare the process of perfection in the things of God? It is like running a competitive race. In this race, three calls have been made if one would qualify for a prize, as follows:
FIRST CALL: We have to register for the race (John 3:3):
It is important to be born again. The first call, is fulfilled when we get our names written in the Book of Life. We do this the moment we get saved. When we get saved, we shall have registered for the race of life.
SECOND CALL: We have to compete according to the laid down rules (2 Tim. 2:4-5; Matt. 7:21):
I still remember the International Amateur of Athletics Federation (IAAF) world championships in Göteborg, Sweden, August 1995. Gwen Torrence, the American 100 and 200 metres’ sprinter won the finals in the 200m. There was no question about it. She was, however, disqualified. The reason was that she didn’t compete according to the rules. Her foot slipped into the inner lane as she was taking the last bend. She never meant to flout the rules but she was disqualified all the same. She needed to have concentrated more. How much do we concentrate on the “rules” of the believer’s race?
THIRD CALL: We have to win—overcome, finish the race (2 Tim. 4:7;1 Jhn. 2:13-14; 5:4; Rev. 2:7,17; 2:26; 2 Cor. 8:11).
For the third call, we have been made to know that we are not basically competing with one another. The main competition is against time—the standard or record. But even if we use the pressure put around us by the other competitors to push our way ahead, even if we lead everyone else with a big margin, we are still not expected to gloat that we are assured of the victory. I have seen people stumble just when they are about to reach the finishing line. The race is not won until it is won.
In the race of life, we can learn from John Stephen Akhwari, the Tanzanian marathon runner at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Akhwari finished quite last. He got injured on the way but determined to cross the finishing line however late it was going to be.
Many of us have been injured in one way or another along the way—but that is not a reason to quit. Winning is not necessarily finishing ahead of the pack. We can “finish last” yet still win and we can finish first yet still lose.
Four things can happen to rob us of a victory that could be ours (This is in Part 2, you can Read it HERE).