And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. ~2 Timothy 2:5
Whenever we enter a contest, the judges will always make sure we know what the rules are. Rules are the boundaries and guidelines we must follow to stay in the contest. When the rules are broken, we disqualify ourselves from continuing. Paul uses the metaphor of a runner running to win a long-distance race. He said that the runner cannot be crowned as a winner except he engages in the race lawfully, or according to the rules. Let us see the rules for being a winner.
Rule #1 is that we must be compliant.
Paul told Timothy, “The things that thou hast heard of me…” and, “Consider what I say.” We must hear and obey. God said, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” God said, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” God says that we are to hearken diligently to what we hear. Sadly, it is easy for a Christian to be carnal in hearing the Word and to turn off the preacher. Whenever a preacher of the Word is rejected, it is, in reality, the rejection of God. Are you obedient? Do you listen to and obey the Lord?