2007-03-01 - One More Day
1 Cor 9:24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath , but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. (NASB)
It's always easier to quit. It's easy to stop fighting and give in.
It's not always better - rarely so in fact. And there is never a victory in giving in.
Part of our nature is to struggle and try to improve. There is an equally strong drive to find the easy way, and to rationalize our thoughts and actions. It is easy to shift the blame to someone or something else when we know in our hearts that we are responsible for our actions.
Champions, whether they be athletes, office workers or ditch diggers, keep working until the job is done or there is no way to continue. Many years ago, I watched a college basketball team down by eight points with three seconds left on the clock mange to tie their rivals. They used timeouts and strategy, and capitalized on every tenth of a second - long before the seconds were counted down in tenths. They tied the score with the last shot and a foul, and made the free throw. They won in overtime.
I remember the struggle. I was a teenager at the time, and wondered how on Earth they were going to pull the game out. I honestly thought they were wasting their time. I was obviously wrong. I learned the value of never giving up.
If you think you're facing some insurmountable temptation, remember that some has faced it too, and someone may be facing it with you. If sin were painful and unpleasant, there are big sections of the Bible that would not have to be written. But it is easy, and at least initially comforting, to stop resisting and let go of the rope and fall into it. But there is always a price. Jesus could have vaporised the cross and the nails and said, "Enough.", and walked away. It would have been easy to not take on the sin of all mankind for all time - especially when His life had been eternally sinless. The price would have been the loss of His children that He created and loves. It would have been a short-term gain with an eternal loss. The way out was through death. But death could not hold Him.
I encourage you to keep fighting temptation for one more day today - one day at a time - minute by minute if necessary. Jesus promised us a way out. If there is no door, look for a window. The way to victory may be difficult. The reward will be to stand before Him and hear, "Well done."
Be a champion. Even if nobody else knows, God knows.
Lord, for those who are still struggling, give them the courage to hold on. For those who have won, send them to encourage others. Amen.