Great Expectations


Everyone who gets into heaven will receive a crown. This does not necessarily follow. Before there is a crowning there must be a race. This race is strongly contested, and a fight ensues. The crowning takes place after the race is won. 

It is when the believer desires something more than to enter heaven by the skin of his teeth, when he longs for the closest possible walk with His Lord, is eager to partake of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, that he finds himself in a battle to the finish. If he does not know what it is that is contending with him, does not know his enemy, he is in a poor position to do battle. 

Paul knew his enemy. In I Cor 9:26 and 27 he states that he does not run this race with uncertainty, does not fight as one beating the air, but that he disciplines his body and brings it under subjection. He did not strike out willy-nilly hoping to hit the enemy; he knew where to land his blows. 

It is the flesh that strives against the Spirit and, until the believer learns to continually bring the lust of the flesh to the cross, every time it rears its ugly head, until he allows it to be put to death by the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus, he will never arrive at the desired destination. It is to the overcomer that the spoils are granted. He who suffers with Him will also reign with Him. 

Paul did not claim to have already attained, but he pressed on toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14); and when the day of his coronation arrived, he recognized it and was able to rejoice in the victory.

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