Eyes on the Prize

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“I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus”Philippians 3:14
If there is one sports activity I remember so vividly in Junior High School; it is the relay race competition. The most striking feature of this game is the way the baton is being passed on and on until the goal is accomplished and there’s a winner! It would interest you to know that while the race is ongoing; the competitors block off all distractions from their head and they keep their eyes on the prize, as it goes a long way in determining whether they win or lose out.

Much often than necessary, we get distracted by how much we’ve gone through in life, measuring our successes and failures on our own scale of preference. We are disappointed people don’t love and appreciate us as much as we do for them; sometimes we are just plain tired. During these trying times, it becomes so easy to keep our eyes off the prize and take a ‘chill pill’ from the so-called worries of life by backsliding and doing those things we promise ourselves not to do.

While Jesus appeared in the likeness of man to bear upon Him our iniquities, He didn’t get carried away with either the fame or popularity that came with his teaching at the synagogues or the miracles the Father helped Him with.

He was bruised, tempted, persecuted many times than necessary by the devil (our adversary) the Pharisees and Sadducees and His disciples, but He kept his eyes on the prize in order to do the will of the Father and finish the work He was sent. This is the only reason we celebrate the victory of his resurrection because no power of hell could hold him down. Little wonder Jesus said ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.’ Jn4:34

How then do we keep our eyes on the prize?

  1.  Know who you serve and draw strength from Him As it is written ‘all powers in heaven and on earth belong to God’. With this power that he gives to as many that believes in Him, He’s made them conquerors. The recital of the creed before sermon are not just mere words, they carry power! “and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of faith” Heb 12:1-2. To keep your eyes on the prize, you need to know who exactly you serve. Remember, you can NEVER serve God and man! It is impossible!!!
  2. Casting out all fears You can only walk in victory if you are bold in Christ! CCC Hymn 527 stanza 1 says ‘Do not be in doubt, do not turn back, so you would not be a tasteless salt. Those with doubting minds shall not reach the throne, the holy throne before our Father… .’ You need to know that you are not a slave to fear because you are a child of God! With this realization, it becomes too easy to stand up for what you believe in, you are not easily tossed as a coin by things that don’t matter, because you know you are standing on the rock that never fails. It also becomes so easy to keep your eyes on the prize and do the will of God and finish His work.
  3. Being Watchful: Do you realize that it is too easy for Jesus to use the authority He has been given by the Father to kill and destroy instead of saving and building up everything He comes in contact with? (He had that much power)! The word of God says ‘Let he who stand, take heed and watch lest he falls’ As a Christian and a Celestian, the devil is roaming around like a hungry lion seeking whom to distract and devour! We cannot let our guards down!
  4. Colossians 4:2 ‘Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.’ False teachers and witnesses will arise, temptations that you think are above you will arise, you might even be persecuted by people you least expect for doing the works of the Father, be watchful! Allow the advocate His work! You definitely can’t do it by yourself. Ask the Father for help and I’m sure you would receive all the help that you need.

Prayer Point:

Lord, give me the grace and strength to do your will and finish your work that I may receive the incorruptible crown on the last day.

Author: Mary Odunayo

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