Monday, September 21, 2009

The Just Shall Live...

It is no great secret that I am a sports fan, and this is my favorite time of year in sports. Major League baseball is rapidly approaching the playoffs, college football is in full swing, and Sunday afternoons are filled with NFL highlights... life if good. Yesterday afternoon, as I watched the Chicago Bears make a great comeback against the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, I found myself pondering why some team overcome challenge and adversity while others start strong only to fade as they approach the finish.

For each of us the landscape of life is filled with the all too painful reminders of those whom we appreciated and even admired who eventually stumbled short of the finish line. There are sports heroes who have admitted cheating, government servants who have fallen from grace, and businessmen who have bilked retirees out of their life savings; each attempting to circumvent the process to insure personal victory. As painful as these personal failures are none seems to cut so deep as when one of our spiritual role models falters in the faith and compromises their testimony. We are reminded of the saddest of all scripture when it is said of Samson, "but he did not know the Lord had left him."

What causes us to falter in the race? Hebrews 11 declares that without faith it is impossible to please God, and lists a biblical hall of fame; those who understand the formula for finishing strong. The answer is found in the realization that "every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of heavenly lights." We find great comfort in the realization that it is not us, rather it is God in us that brings strength and success. The poison the enemy regularly uses to sidetrack godly people is pride. Satan loves to use the miraculous provision of God, that which should be an anchor for our faith, as the birthplace of pride. We can quickly lose sight of the hand of God in our life and begin to believe that the success we experience is a result of our wisdom, abilities, and efforts.

Let me offer this thought: If we continually live our life in such a way that God has to come through, it keeps our focus on Him. If we chose simply to function at the level of our resource and ability it become all too easy for the focus to be on us. The truth is we serve a God of the impossible. As I reflect on our ongoing facilities expansion, and ponder the next steps we must take as a church, I must confess to you that it seems like a mountain compared to our earthly resources.... it is a good thing that God offers us mountain moving faith :)

1 comment:

Jeff and Abby Hunt said...

This is so true! I heard a quote yesterday that is very similar to what you are saying here. It was, "everyone wants a miracle, but nobody wants to need a miracle!" If we need supernatural intervention, God is always faithful!