Strive For The Mastery
1 Corinthians 9:25: And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
What mastery did Paul write about? I believe it was the mastery over his body, his flesh. No one will obtain an incorruptible crown because of what other individuals believe, think, speak or do, only by what they themselves believe, think, speak and do. The longer are saved the more we should understand that it is difficult to keep our body under. In fact, it is impossible without the help and power of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Paul had been saved for a long time before he wrote to the Romans, the Corinthians and the Galatians. Read all of Romans chapter 7 to learn more about his fight with his flesh.
Romans 7:22: For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
1 Corinthians 15:53: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Our bodies, our flesh, will be corruptible until they die or are changed by the Lord at His return. But praise God that we shall one day put on incorruption. Meanwhile, there are some things that will help us to win the battle with our flesh. Reading and studying the Bible is one of them, committing our lives to the Lord is another and prayer is a third one.
Psalms 119:11: Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Proverbs 16:3: Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Matthew 6:13: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
In the beautiful hymn I Surrender All surrender is expressed in 4 ways in each verse and 3 times in the chorus. As we sing the hymn we sing of surrender 28 times. Surrendering often and repeatedly to the Lord is what the Christian life is all about. Surrender to Him is how to strive for the mastery and it is and will be HIS MASTERY and ours.