Even if you never watch baseball, you have probably heard of Babe Ruth. Baseball fans refer to him as the greatest player in the sport. Do you think he would walk up to home plate, lay his bat down and give up if his team was losing? Well, considering he is still known as the greatest player in the sport, I highly doubt that.
When I think of athletes, I think of people who don’t give up.
Those who train for the Olympics have been training for years and yet it comes down to if they can do their performance perfectly on “game day”.
Athletes train for hours everyday to be in peak physical condition because they hope to win. If they didn’t want to win, they wouldn’t be pushing themselves to their physical limits and eating broccoli while dreaming of a burger.
They have the heart of a champion. They give 110% until the clock runs out or they pass the finish line.
So much can be learned from the characteristics of an athlete.
Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”
This verse encourages us to lay aside whatever may be holding us back and to run the spiritual race with patience.
No one likes to be patient, but we certainly can’t be in a rush to finish the race.
If an athlete wanted to hurry up and finish the game, most likely there would be plays made that would hinder the team from winning.
Depending on the sport, players have certain gear to help protect them and to do the job they need to on the field.
Just like we, as Christians, have our own armor that we have to help us on our spiritual race.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
I love how verse 18 ends! Paul is writing to the Ephesians. He goes through the list of armor that God has supplied us with and then Paul ends with “watch thereunto with all perseverance”. In modern times, it may sound more like “Go out and persevere. Don’t give up!”
We need the armor of God to help us withstand what Satan may throw our way, but most importantly we need God Himself. He is our ultimate source of strength.
Satan loves to try and destroy us with temptation, doubt, fear, etc. He may try to thwart us, but ultimately we have the victory through Christ.
Our loving Savior is our Coach who will help us win the battle. We don’t have to live in fear. Since we are human, we will still fall sometimes, but by God’s grace, He will be there to pick us up and help us continue the race. He is beside us every step of the way.
Knowing that God is on our side, what are we waiting for?
Let’s suit up, it’s game time!