Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
A story is told about the noted director of biblical epics, Cecil B. DeMille. When they began working on the movie Ben Hur, DeMille talked to Charlton Heston -- the star of the movie -- about the all-important chariot race at the end. He decided Heston should actually learn to drive the chariot himself, rather than just using a stunt double. Heston agreed to take chariot-driving lessons to make the movie as authentic as possible.
Learning to drive a chariot with horses four abreast, however, was no small matter. After extensive work and days of practice, Heston returned to the movie set and reported to DeMille.
"I think I can drive the chariot all right, Cecil," said Heston, "but I'm not at all sure I can actually win the race."
Smiling slightly, DeMille said, "Heston, you just stay in the race, and I'll make sure you win."
That is such a great illustration of the spiritual race which we are all running as Christians. We are to run that race in such a way that we "win" because only the one who wins the race race receives the prize at the end (I Cor. 9:24).
The thought of having to win the race seems a little unsettling to us until we realize that God says the same thing to us that DeMille said to Heston: "You just stay in the race and I'll make sure you win." Our responsibility as Christians is to run the race with endurance (Heb. 12:3), to never quit, never give up. If we do that, God will make sure that we "win."
We will win if we let God be in control.
Dear Lord, thanks for being there while we run the race called life. Give us the endurance so that we can finish the race before us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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