The word Race is mentioned in the Bible five times, and they all are not talking about the human race, but an athletic race. A race that you run for a prize. Read 1 Corinthians 9:24. Paul is telling us that if we want to win the race then we must train like athletes.
You can watch a 30 second sport commercial and see how rigorous athletic training is. In the Army, we as soldiers are required to do athletic training. It is called PRT (Physical Readiness Training). Soldiers conduct PRT everyday as early as 5:00AM. PRT consist of pushups, situps, and a 2 mile run.
Soldiers train everyday to prepare for our PT test that is conducted every six months. The PT test consists of a required minimum of repetitions of pushups, situps, and a 2 mile run time according to the individual’s age. This is the same with running the spiritual race. As Christians we must train everyday to prepare for the tests.
For soldiers, merely morning PT is enough training to pass the PT test but only at a minimum score. If you want to max your PT score then training on your personal time is required. In morning PT, you are exercising with a group of people who all have different abilities. An exercise that is easy to you may be challenging to someone else, so personal exercise is necessary to ensure that you are challenging yourself to max your PT score.
As Christians it is important to train in groups and by yourself. For me, morning PT is better during run days because it is hard for me to want to run on my own time, but when it comes to strengthening days I get a better workout on my own because I can train more muscles and push myself to my physical limit.
As soldiers train every day for physical readiness, so do we Christians must train every day for spiritual readiness. Christians are not warned when a spiritual test may arise. Soldiers have the luxury of being warned when their next PT test comes. Some soldiers do no personal training for their PT test until the month of it. For Christians, sometimes a spiritual test will sneak up on us and we realize that we are out of spiritual shape. Spiritually training everyday we do not have to worry when our spiritual tests will come because we will always be ready.