The path of obedience is rewarding. Doing the right thing successively leads to awards.
God longs to reward us but we have to contend His way in order to receive a merit-prize or judicial recompense for service or achievements related to our divine assignments.
2 Timothy 2:5 TPT says, “An athlete who doesn’t play by the rules will never receive the trophy, so remain faithful to God!”
In this verse, the word “athlete” means one who contends and wrestles (Strong’s 118). The word “trophy” means crown of honor (Strong’s 4737).
God knows it isn’t easy for us and He has prizes stored up for those who finish their fight of faith. These prizes are the fulfillment of His promises and many involve joining new relationships that will help His faithful ones move into their next phase.
During quiet time with our Lord, Holy Spirit revealed to me that there are divine connections, and even some covenant blessings, awaiting His faithful ones in this regard. When they join together, life won’t be as it has been but better and far better.
The key is here to lean into Him and see it through to the finish, no matter what.
2 Timothy 4:7 TPT says, “I have fought an excellent fight. I have finished my full course with all my might and I’ve kept my heart full of faith.”
So, continue to do what delights God’s heart and remember that He likes to give His children good gifts.
We can throw aside encumbrances and do our best, knowing that He’s with us and is releasing His grace upon grace to help us endure this discipline with Heaven cheering us on.
Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT encourage us, saying:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
This race, referred to in verse 1, is similar in meaning to the word athlete. It means “struggle” and more specifically a struggle, conflict or fight of faith in the soul (Strong’s 73). Here, the root word for race is where we derive our word “agony.”
One commentary (Thayer’s) describes this race as “any struggle with dangers, annoyances, [or] obstacles, standing in the way of faith, holiness, and a desire to spread the gospel.”
This contest of the soul is not solely about our own growth. It’s also about harvesting souls for the Kingdom. Therefore, this race must be completed for the honorable purpose of expanding the gospel beyond our own hearts to reach others with the Gospel.
It’s that important.
We simply won’t make it if our eyes aren’t fixed on our first Love, our God of grace, who invites us higher and makes our obedient efforts possible in submission to Him.
Paul says in Philippians 3:14 TPT that he “runs straight for the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus.”
So, all of this is about God and what He desires to do in the earth right now. And even if we see others doing similar work, we, too, must also “run the race to be victorious,” according to 1 Corinthians 9:24 TPT; because there is a unique expression and deposit that God desires to do through us.
Therefore, no matter how obnoxious the obstacles, or fierce the fight, we must keep going and never give up. God will honor our daily decisions and actions to keep pressing on. He will meet us there and power us through as we submit to Him. And, in the end, we will see that it was so worth the outcome.
In this process, it helps us to remember who we are and whose we are. Deuteronomy 7:6 NLT tells us, “For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.”
Romans 2:10 TPT says, “But when we do what pleases God, we can expect unfading glory, true honor, and a continual peace . . . “
So, as we sow the honor of obedience unto God (our Treasure) during our agonizing races, He will honor us (His treasure) with His promises fulfilled and expand His Kingdom.
“For we know that we will receive a reward, an inheritance from the Lord, as we serve the Lord Yahweh, the Anointed One” (Co 3:24 TPT)!
To Him be the glory.
This devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.