When we accept Christ as our personal Saviour, not only are we guaranteed a home in Heaven, but we are also entered into the “Christian race.” So that means when we as believers chose to accept Christ, we also chose to submit to our Father and to do His will for our lives. Don’t get me wrong, our free will is intact. We still have the choice to do right or to ignore God and do what our flesh desires, but those choices come with consequences. We have to do away the idea that God will simply accept whatever decisions we make about our relationship with Him. While He is merciful and longsuffering, please don’t confuse those traits for His acceptance of wrong choices. Just as a competitive runner forces his body into a fit, long-distance, running condition you and I as Christians will have to force our flesh into a holy, righteous, and Godly condition. Paul tells us that the key element to success in this endeavor is temperance or self-control. We must be willing to deny our flesh and submit to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God if we are going to properly run the race that God has set for us.
I Corinthians 9:24-27:
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 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.