No athlete sets a world record, makes it to the Olympics, or wins a national title without daily discipline. They don’t expect to wake up one day and suddenly win the big prize. Instead, they train for years, living with prize eyes to focus themselves on what they want to accomplish.
In Philippians 3:14, Paul wrote, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” On the cross, Jesus proposed to the human race with His gift of grace and forgiveness. And when we accept that proposal, our ultimate focus should change. We have been given a different vision for our life. Instead of focusing on the here and now, we need to gain some prize eyes that are always looking towards the future.
After a proposal comes a wedding. One day, Christ, the groom, will return and be reunited with His bride, the Church—the people of God. Right now, we live in between the proposal and the wedding. We are in a time of preparation, a time when we need to be getting ourselves ready for that day. And like an athlete prepares to win the big prize, we need to be preparing for Christ’s return.
John 16:13-14—When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.
God hasn’t left us on our own to figure out how to live in this preparation period. He has given all followers of Christ the gift of the Holy Spirit, who will help us like a personal trainer would. Hebrews 12:10-11 says, “…God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” People who live with prize eyes will see the value that comes with daily discipline, even when it’s difficult. They know that if they truly value the future, they will also value the discipline that prepares us for the future.
The Holy Spirit will help us in disciplining every area of our lives, from our character to the gifts and talents God has given us to the vision we have for ourselves. We should not stay the same, but always be growing in the grace that God has given us. It won’t always be easy, but by submitting to the Holy Spirit’s training, we will see ourselves growing stronger as we prepare for the future.