African Press Association

The spiritual race: be in it to win it



FELLOW believers, let us run our spiritual race with the sole intention of finishing. Most importantly let us complete this course with an outright victory.

At the end of this spiritual race, we must be clear winners in the name of the Lord, who is Jehovah God. We are not in this race to lose or surrender to the devil and his demons.

My favourite Apostle of all time, Paul of Tarsus, confirms my teaching in the book of 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

The New Living Translation states: “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.”

The same verse in the English Standard Version reads: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”

I am quite aware that new believers, the born-agains, and those still young in spirit might ask how they could run a successful course without tiring.

To be a winner, learn to run the race in Jehovah God with PATIENCE! Do not give up when tough times befalls you!

In my journey with Jehovah God spanning over four decades, I have experienced that the more you hold on to the truth and faith, the more things seem to be difficult, tough and unbearable.

Remember patience is a virtue! Bear in mind this world is under the control of the evil one – Devil, who can easily influence demons and all sorts of evil spirits in this world to start working against every aspect of your life, business, marriage, health, finances, relationship or employment.

Always understand that no one is exempt from life’s turmoil. Even the richest and smartest people in this world are not exempt. Even our Lord Jesus Christ, at some stage went through difficulties.

At one point, when our Lord Jesus Christ was going through the most trying and painful moment, He fell with his face to the ground and prayed on Matthew 26:39, and said this: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

The New Living Translation reads: “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

The English Standard Version states: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Surely, if we cannot have the capacity to tolerate delays, anxiety or suffering, then we will fail to win this spiritual race.

We need to develop PATIENCE, PERSISTENCE, SELF-RESTRAINT, ENDURANCE, CALMNESS and COMPOSURE while at the same time exercising determination, tenacity, perseverance, diligence, resoluteness, kindness, consideration and serenity if we are to come out clear winners.

Although tough times or situations are not welcome, we have no choice but to face them when they arise. After all, tough times don’t kill – do they? My advice- when the going gets tough, always remember these are moments we need to lean on Jehovah God through His begotten Son Jesus Christ, not human beings like we always do in our churches.

Believers today put much trust, faith and hope in their church leaders, elders, pastors, bishops or prophets as if they hold the key of life.

Surely, we need to put our trust, faith and hope to the one and only, Jehovah God, through Jesus, who holds the key of life.

Revelation 3:7 reads: “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”

The New Living Translation states: “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia. This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David. What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open.”

The spiritual battle is lost once we throw in the towel! I will use the example of my two children, Parker and Khesani, whenever they want something, they want it there and then. They have no time to wait. They will take what they can get now rather than waiting a little for something better. Well, I’m not exempt from this because I also did the same, but at a higher and advanced level. I’m also guilty!

This is where we lose it spiritually! When Jehovah God makes an announcement in our lives, we rush ahead of Him without letting Him guide us to His plan/s for our lives.

We are all equally guilty of wanting immediate results at one point or another. We can’t afford to wait. In circumstances where we decide to wait, we always become jittery.

This is our main challenge believers in the Lord. When Jehovah God announces something good in our lives, we only wait for a while before our patience wears thin, and we begin looking for instant gratification.

Even if it was a prophecy coming from an angel, the moment it takes long, we begin to doubt the prophecy.

I have seen even in business, when we start it today, we always want to reap profits tomorrow. It’s impossible, unless if you are corrupt. But usually, riches and wealth obtained through corruption won’t last. Worse still, such riches always bring lots of stress and scrutiny.

Let us learn to be what the father of faith Abraham did in the Lord. According to Genesis 21:5, “Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him,” while the New Living Translation states: “Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.”

Patience pays!

Why is it good to wait in the Lord for His promise? It is always paramount to realise Jehovah God knows no time.

Jehovah God is supernatural, so, He operates in the spiritual realm where there is no time, no seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years.

What as human beings believe is too long time, Jehovah God can always cause miracles to happen within moments. At a glance, Jehovah God can always change your fortunes and wellbeing.

Jehovah God neither lies nor fails! When He says “YES”, nobody can says “NO!”

Sometimes what we view as urgent, Jehovah God seems those things as projects for a decade, but bear in mind, Jehovah God has the capacity to make a quick turnaround of His word within a short moment.

According to Numbers 23:19, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”

I also like the New Living Translation version which says: “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?”

Whatever Jehovah God says always comes to fruition. But also, let us learn that when Jehovah God says something to us, He doesn’t mean we immediately do it.

Sometimes it is an announcement for an appointed time. Ecclesiastes 3:1 confirms this: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,” while the English Standard Version reads: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”

We need to have patience with what Jehovah God tells us about our future so that His word comes to pass.

Now, our problem, once God announces something exciting in our lives, we often enjoy rushing ahead overtaking Him. In most cases, He stops and then lets us run on our own hence failing.

When God makes an announcement today about our lives, sometimes He takes a month, six months, one year, 10 years or 20 years before fulfilling His promise.

Usually, Jehovah God does this to mentor us so that when the right opportunity comes, we don’t often fail or miss His timing.

As believers, always remember sometimes going through tough times is actually the time of preparation for the greater things to come.

Instead, it pays to be patient, faithful during the time of preparation, even if it means there will be some sacrifices on our part.

For when we are thoroughly prepared and have proven to Jehovah God that He can trust us, then He can be able to promote us and move us into a place He had planned for us all along – usually that’s a place of greater responsibility and anointing.

Without preparation, you won’t be ready to take the next step in God’s plan for you.

If you neglect training and only concern yourself with earthly affairs without spiritual guidance, even God’s door of opportunity opens, you may not even recognize it.

Even in marriage, if you were not properly prepared, when the right husband or wife comes your way, you would not notice because you were wasting time on cheap and easy partners.

If you don’t prepare yourself to Jehovah God’s word, you won’t be ready to go through that door into the next stage of God’s plan for you.

Brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, Jehovah God has always had a way and a proper timing!

Usually moving out of Jehovah God’s timing is moving out of His will.

There are benefits of waiting in the Lord’s promises despite tough times.

Always remember, tough times don’t last, tough people do.

So, as believers, we must keep moving forward without looking back. We must keep focused on to the race course so that we win the prize. Remember tough times will make you wise and appreciative of certain things you would have underestimated without suffering.

Most interestingly, through our Lord Jesus Christ, we can always do all things because Jesus gives strengthen, inspires hope and gives victory.

Those who believe in this True Gospel say Amen!

Feedback: savious.kwinika@cajnewsafrica.com, TWITTER: @SaviousKwinika