I hope you’ve been enjoying the series on the power of identity. Today, I am going to talk more about discovering who you are in Christ.
1 Corinthians 9:24 is such an insightful verse of Scripture. Take a look at what it says:
“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”
When I looked closely at this verse, I asked myself; “Does it mean that only one person will win the Christian race?” If this is so, why am I even running in the first place if it is only one person that will win? What is the probability that I will be the winner? But thank God for the Holy Spirit who brought light on the Scripture.
What I discovered from this verse is that there is a possibility for everyone to be the first but the condition for this to happen is that you must stay on your track. In a marathon race, any athlete that crosses another man’s track is instantly disqualified. So much more than just running, you have to stay on your track. No matter how good your speed is, forget about running if you are not on your track. Do what God has called you to do and stop running in another man’s track.
Note what Paul said in this verse. He said “run in such a way that you may obtain.” Don’t run to impress; run to obtain. Win in your own area of assignment. Stop pursuing another man’s dream or purpose. You are not any man. You are you. You are not competing with anybody but yourself.
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1 Corinthians 9:27
Note the distinction in the words by Paul in the verse above. He said “I” put “my body” under. So he was not his body. One of the things you compete with is your body; the dictates of your flesh, the Adamic nature of sin. No wonder Paul said the flesh profits nothing.
Your competition against people is a waste of time and resource. Compete with what is competing with you; that is your body and you are assured of winning. There was a time in my life that I wished I could be some of my friends or neighbours because I didn’t like myself. I thought I was not good enough and I would have been better being someone else. But I discovered that no one is bound to like me beyond the way I love myself and so I began to love myself.
Jesus said “love your neighbour as yourself.” That word is loaded. It means I have to know how to love myself in order to love my neighbour. How could I ever love my neighbour if I don’t know what it means to love by practising it on myself?
Do you know what I discovered as soon as I started loving myself? People started liking me and appreciating my uniqueness. I remember a story I heard many years ago; a young dynamic man of God was praying one morning and God asked him who the person that was praying is. Puzzled by that, he said “but Lord, it’s me, your son”. God replied him and said, “I can see the hands of so and so man of God (because of his gesticulations), I can hear the voice of that man of God…can you just be real?”
This is my suggestion – stop trying to be anybody that is existing or has existed before. You can only be the best by being yourself. Second bests are not usually recognized. Before I round off this chapter, I want to ask a simple question; do you know who the second oldest man in the Bible is? I am sure most people don’t know him, not because he was too old, after all he was 962 years, but because he was simply not the oldest man.
Never struggle to be second best in life. Be the your best in the assignment God has for you here on earth. Stop yielding to distractions here and there. Enjoy being yourself. Do you know that David would not have won Goliath with Saul’s armour? Why? It was because Saul himself could not defeat Goliath with that same armour he gave to David. Return the armour of Saul and grab your sling. Your uniqueness will determine what you will win with.
Finally, John refused to be called by another person despite their greatness. Elijah was great in his time. The prophets were great people but always remember that a person whom God has not started with is better than the one He has finished with. No wonder Paul said in Romans 8:37 that in all things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. This means that we are more than those who have already conquered. Child of God, understand that you are more.