2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV
Not everyone who starts the race finishes it. Paul writes: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things…they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run…not with uncertainty…I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself…become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NKJV).
Paul isn’t talking about his salvation here; that was a settled issue. He’s talking about his heavenly reward, and these particular words should make you stop and think: “Lest…I myself…become disqualified.”
Here are some things that will cause you to stumble on your journey:
(1) Failure to read God’s Word and pray every day.
(2) Saying no to God when He deals with you about a specific area in your life.
(3) Moral failure stemming from wrong habits and relationships.
(4) Allowing doubt and fear to cripple you.
(5) Wasting time on frivolous pursuits instead of focusing on the “one thing” God has called you to do.
(6) Succeeding in your career and failing at home.
(7) Not sowing your treasure, talent, and time into God’s kingdom, resulting in a lack of resources to fulfill His will for your life.
The list could go on ad infinitum. Make this your prayer today: “Search me, O God, and know my heart…see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV). That’s the kind of prayer God loves to answer!