Paul was a man with a spirit that conquered. Throughout his ministry, he faced countless obstacles but never gave up. He pictured the Christian life as a race, and we each need this same kind of spirit if we hope to finish well.
Courage: A conquering spirit is willing to risk failure. Though we naturally want to appear strong and capable, God delights in empowering us in our weaknesses so He gets the glory.
Confidence: We’re likely to stumble when we doubt our ability to do what God requires. However, when our confidence is placed in the Lord instead of in ourselves, we can move ahead, knowing that He’ll enable us to do His will.
Commitment: The Lord promises to: guide us as we run the race; provide whatever is needed; and strengthen us along the way. However, we must be committed to Him and determined to carry out His will.
Persistence: The road we’re traveling is full of distractions, opposition, and obstacles that tempt us to give up. That’s why Paul advises us to “press on” through hardships toward that which is of eternal value (v. 14).
Forward Focus: We must also forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead (v. 13). Those weighed down by baggage from the past lose sight of the goal.
The key to success in this race is an all-consuming desire to reach the goal. If we find no value in the prize, we’ll readily give up along the way and settle for the immediate gratification the world offers. But if we understand what awaits us at the finish line in heaven, we’ll press on.