The Olympic Games Host, this year London, England, launches a hive of activity preparing for the Games. They pamper and perfect every competition venue, making way for the competitors, their fans, tourists, news cameras and much more. It takes hundreds of thousands of man-hours for the task of opening day alone. Event planners plan when the events will take place, inside and outside London’s cosmopolitan city with great care. Finally, when the droves of participants converge on the arena it is simply organized chaos. The most important of all these preparations of course, are in the competitors themselves. Many athletes get to the arena earlier in the month prior to the event to see what it will look and feel like competing there. In many cases the athletes train nearby in advance so their body is accurately adjusted to the weather, altitude and conditions for one race, one swim, or one strike.
What about us? We are spiritual athletes in a spiritual contest. How prepared are we? First, we must find out where the arena is. According to God’s Word it’s the arena of our minds? Our minds are the organ of mental perception and the location of the competition fields. Our victories are won or lost in the six inches between our ears because once we’re born again, we’re already going to heaven and all hell can’t stop us. Now the battle becomes, the crowns and rewards we win or lose on our way there and how many others we show the way.
“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown (Grk=stephanos= crown received for winning the contest), so stand fast in the Lord, [my] dearly beloved.” Phil. 4:1
The crown comes from our mental commitment to renew our minds.
“That ye put off (strip off, lay aside) concerning the former conversation (behavior) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind (in your life and your mind); And that ye put on the new man (and you will become a new man), which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (which is truth in all its purity).” Eph. 4:22-24
This verse tells us where the training begins. It begins with putting off the old habit patterns and behaviors of your old life before you could talk to God or knew to read His Word. The definition of the renewed mind is; put the Word of God in your mind and acting accordingly.
The most powerful and life-defining distinction of any athlete is mental commitment, or mental toughness. If I told you I was going to run in the Olympics, but the next day I didn’t even lace my shoes up and go for a run, who am I fooling? Our actions speak far louder than our words when it comes to any commitment.
“And have put on the new [man] (this is like the the colors, and uniform of the athlete, which tells the contender who they are), which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Colossians 3:10
“And if a man also strive (Grk=strive–athleo–to contend in the games) for masteries, [yet] is he not crowned, except he strive (contend in the games) lawfully.”
If I’ve made a commitment to watch my tongue, and only speak edifying things to others, what are my actions saying? Have I laced up the shoes of edification and taken them for a spin?
What’s next? How do we put the Word of God in mind and act accordingly?
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
What do we study about? There are lots of ways. One of my favorite is to find verses on the subject of the drama I’m currently in the midst of. There’s nothing like learning the scriptures because you had a life experience that taught you what they meant. That way you can relate to what’s going on according to the Word that you’ve put in your mind. There is an easy way to do this. What are you struggling with? Depression? Okay, find all the joy, and encouragement verses. Are you struggling with believing God to supply all your need? Find all the prosperity and abundant verses. Put these on, memorize, dissect them in the Greek, and really study them. Then when you get hit in the arena of your mind, your ready to run your race.
God Bless You Today!