“So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
Now there are two ideas here. One is, “Where are you running? I don’t run aimlessly. I know where I’m going, I know where I’m running and I know where I’m headed.” And then you’ve got a bit of violence here. “I don’t box the air.” Do you know why you don’t box the air? For the same reason you don’t chase the wind. It’s futile.
So there are a couple of questions I think we need to ask moving into the new year with all the idea of newness at the forefront. The first question is where are you running? I’ll ask it like this.
When are you going to read your Bible? When are you going to pursue the treasure? How are you going to go about doing that? What I know this week is that the gym is going to be a nightmare. Do you know what I also know? I only have to put up with it for three weeks. I can take a notebook to the gym tomorrow morning and meet people and tell you who’s not going to be there three weeks from now and who is.
A guy without a plan, a who is just looking around, a guy who is trying to do exercises on the water fountain, a guy without a plan, a guy who doesn’t know when he’s going and what he’s doing, is simply not going to go long and will not do much for long.
Its true of the body, and absolutely true spiritually. When are you hunting treasure? How are you hunting the treasure that is Jesus Christ? I think you have to answer that. So whether that’s a Bible reading plan or you want to get into this group or you want to try to find some place to dive deep into biblical community, you’ve got to have a plan. Otherwise, I think you’re running aimlessly.
Some of you lay in bed at night and dream about what could have been if you just learned Something when you were in high school. “Do you know how awesome I’d be right now.… Oh if I would have just learned to play an instrument back then. It’s so hard now …” Okay, there’s no flux capacitor.
It’s not happening. You’re not going back in time to learn Spanish. And even if you could go back to the 10th grade, I don’t think you’ve thought through the ramifications. You’re going to be surrounded by 10th graders. Sorry. There are some holes in the theory. Now what you do have is today. That’s what you’ve got. You forget what’s behind and let God redeem it. We have today. And today is absolutely shaping Mark Jacksons tomorrow.
Today is shaping your tomorrow. You are cultivating the you of 2025 this coming year. Some of you have been stuck in the same goofy cycle for decades. “I’m going to get this.… I’m going to get that.” Are you running aimlessly? Or do you have your path?
The second thing is, he’s got this great analogy about boxing the air. Do you know where you are weak and do you know where you need to fight and engage?
Is your marriage a train wreck? That might be a place to fight. You might go, “We’re already doing that all the time.” That’s not what I mean. That might be a place to really put some work in this year and to really diligently find all the joy of Jesus Christ and His grace in your marriage.
Maybe you’ve got a legitimate lust issue. That’s something that needs to be subdued and fought and defeated by the grace and mercy of God. I could go on and on here, but where is the fight this year for you?
I think if we go, “I want to hunger for God. I want to follow after God. I want to know Him more deeply, follow His grace and really be compelled by His mercy this year,” then I think you need to think through if you’re forgetting what is behind and how you are straining for what is ahead.