1 Corinthians 9
24Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
This illustration by Apostle Paul is to help us understand the 'Christian Life' takes hard work, a lot of pressing, and most of all, self denial. We are required to take an honest look at our strengths and weaknesses. It means strengthening our weaknesses in our relationship with God, which leads to a stronger will to abstain from a sinful life. When we have our eye on the prize, it builds up our will to say no when there is a powerful appetite inside us screaming yes. Glory to God. We never persevere without the promise of a prize. You can bank on God holding his promise. Our commitment requires us to put on the mind of Christ. The fight with the flesh is tough, but self discipline is a must otherwise we can lose our privilege to spread the word of God. This walk requires a solid effort. When I used to run track in high school after each practice I wanted to quit. Training was gruesome. There were temptations to slack off and cheat, but without discipline, I would have failed before the meet. An athlete’s strength comes from discipline. Through disciplining and training our body we will earn a crown that will last FOREVER. (2 Tim. 4:8)