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.25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Do you not know that we are going somewhere? Each of us has a destination to reach. This destination is determined by a few factors. First, there is an eternal destination which is the end for every one. The question is where you will spend eternity. If it is heaven then you must be a Christ-follower; there is no negotiation to that fact. John 14:6 says, “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” There is NO other way to heaven, it is only through Jesus. If you are a Christ-follower then your destination is heaven. If Christ is your Lord then you will want to a live life that honors Him. We need to live our lives with excellence.
Paul compares our lives with that of an athlete. Athletes discipline themselves so when the day comes they are prepared to run the race. The race will be easier if one practices and trains for the event, rather then for the one who is unprepared. He also speaks of the discipline of the pugilist. Paul is telling the Corinthian church that discipline is necessary in their journey. What good is it when a boxer is throwing his punches wildly? He will not be effective. However, a trained boxer will train himself to throw calculated and controlled punches. Thus being a better boxer.
Our behavior is so important. We as Christ-followers cannot just live any way we want to. We need to learn to live disciplined and controlled lives, because it shows the world that Jesus Christ has taken up residents in our hearts. “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
Old Testament: psalm 139-141 New Testament I Cor. 10:1-13