“No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:27
Paul went around preaching some strong words to many people. He came against many very harshly for living in sinful lifestyles. With this in mind he knew that he had to live his life in the same way he was preaching. He did not want to get to the end of his life as a failure after preaching the truth for so long. To prevent this he would beat his body into submission.
There has been many preachers and evangelists over the years who have spent many years preaching the gospel message. Their sermons and teachings were great, only to find out in the end they fell into a sinful lifestyle and ended up leaving Christianity to live in the world’s ways.
Not only have preachers and evangelists done this, but so have many people in the church. Some have told everyone they knew about God, always were active in helping in the church, always praying and reading the Bible, only to suddenly fall away from God and the church in some sin.
Paul struck a blow to his body to make it his slave, not him a slave to his body. This is his being willing to say no to sinful pleasures of any sort to keep his life pure before God.
Your body, in its sinful state, will cry out for sinful pleasures. These pleasures might be immorality, drunkenness, physical or mental pleasures, or any other sin. You must be willing to strike back and say no to those pleasures. Make your body and mind a slave to you and Christ Jesus. Do not give in to the temporary worldly pleasures.
Do not allow yourself to give in to sin at all. A little here, a little there will get you a long way off in the end. You do not want to get to the end, only to have Jesus say depart from me for I do not know who you are. Remember, Jesus said many will cry Lord, Lord, but do not know Jesus or obey Him.
Are you a slave to your body and desires? Or are your body and desires a slave to you?
I pray today that you will be willing to take a stand against sin in your own life; that God will give you the strength to stand true for Him; that God will help you keep sin out of your life; and that you will stay qualified for the prize of eternal life some day.