Every Thanksgiving, my family and I take part in what is known as the Turkey Trot. This 5k run/walk brings thousands of people together with the goal of raising funds for the Dallas YMCA. In this race, finishing is winning because all proceeds go to a good cause. But not so for most races. Most races award a first-place finisher with a medal, trophy, jacket or any other statement of victory. To come in fifth, tenth or one-hundredth is not the goal. Athletes train and compete in order to come in first. 
Paul urged us to win as well when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.”
Friends, I want to challenge you to develop a passion to be a winner for God.
Friends, I want to challenge you to develop a passion to be a winner for God. In order to do that, following these three strategic steps can help you accomplish your goals.
A nice jogging suit doesn’t make you a runner. Just like wearing a football jersey doesn’t make you a professional NFL player. You need to do more than be a part of the pack in order to go for the gold. Never settle for simply getting on the field or in the race. One day, God is going to reward you for what you do for Him. On that day, you are going to wish that you trained and aimed high, rather than living a life of excuses. 
Athletes who compete take part in strict training. They do this in order to get the crown—the prize. Strict training and hard work are just that—hard. It’s something you have to make yourself do. Unless you stay focused on the “why” behind the “what,” you might quit. We have an Olympic gold medalist who attends the church where I pastor. I’ve known her since she was a kid. The hours, days, weeks and months that she put into getting prepared for the Olympics were only possible because she kept her eye on the prize. Every decision she made in the years leading up to her gold medal was influenced by that one pursuit. We, as followers of Christ, ought to pursue God’s eternal prize with no less effort. 
The writer of Hebrews puts our last point this way, “Therefore… let us also lay aside every encumbrance,” (Hebrews 12:1). Get rid of it. Stop watching it. Stop talking to them. Stop going there. Whatever stands in the way of having you fully live out and gain the victory which is yours for the taking ought to have no place in your life. 
Go for the gold; never settle. Keep your eye on the prize set before you. Remove the distractions holding you back.
Go for the gold; never settle. Keep your eye on the prize set before you. Remove the distractions holding you back. Do these three things, and you will live in the victory that is yours through Christ.

Check out more from Dr. Tony Evans @tonyevans.org


About The Author

Dr. Tony Evans

Dr. Tony Evans is one of the country’s most respected leaders in evangelical circles. As a pastor, teacher, author and speaker, he serves the body of Christ through his unique ability to communicate complex theological truths through simple, yet profound, illustrations. While addressing the practical issues of today, Dr. Evans is known as a relevant expositor. New and veteran pastors alike regard him as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith.

At the heart of this vision is the use of church and school partnerships to effect spiritual and social change in communities. Dr. Evans’ church and school outreach philosophy has been attributed as a catalyst for former President George W. Bush’s Faith Based Initiative, which was his first formal act of office. Dr. Evans seeks to train churches, schools and volunteers in this philosophy, as well as in the functional practicalities, through the National Church Adopt-A-School Initiative which is a ministry underneath the umbrella of The Urban Alternative.

Dr. Evans serves as president of The Urban Alternative, a national ministry that seeks to restore hope and transform lives through the proclamation and the application of the Word of God. His daily radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 850 radio outlets throughout the United States and in more than 80 countries.

Dr. Evans has written numerous books and booklets including his legacy work, Oneness Embraced, as well as his vision work, The Kingdom Agenda. Some of his most recent books includes, Kingdom Man, A Moment For Your Soul, Marriage Matters, and Victory in Spiritual Warfare.

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