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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Living Like an Olympic Champion

What does it take to be a winner in the Olympics? After watching these games the answer is obviously a no brainer. It takes determination, self-discipline, a healthy lifestyle,endurance, belief in the ability to achieve, dedication, good genes (the inherited kind, not the blue ones) and lots of practice! The performance of the medalists doesn't rely an just wishful thinking,haphazard training or half-hearted workouts.Yet some of us lead our lives as Christians just like that. We are tossed about by every wind of doctrine--what's fashionable at the time, listen to the lies of our mortal enemies: Satan and his followers, as well as training incorrectly. So, how can we take these Olympian's example and apply it to our own lives?

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians provides us with the key clue. "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize? (1 Corin. 9:24-28).

If we want to be victorious Christians,we need to keep in good shape spiritually. But how do we get there is the million dollar question. First, we need the desire to win. If we don't have that, we will surely give up and be easily defeated. But where can we get that motivation to run this race and win? Let's look at the positive reasons Olympic athletes train to be the best they can be. Some just have natural talent combined with a competitive spirit. They want to do their best and win!They just don't train aimlessly, but with determination to win. We need to lay hold of this truth.

In this day and age, we can't just be lukewarm Christians and maintain. We will not be able to just tread water for long because the tide of culture is too powerful and will sweep us away. What can we do to resist this tide and strike a blow to the opponent of our soul--Satan? Once again desire is the key. This reminds me of a book, The Journey of Desire by John Eldridge. God has given men strong desires, but they often chase after what which will only fill them temporarily: sex,power,money and material things. Woman can also be driven, but most often she longs to be loved. All of these desires create a hole in your heart, which can only be permanently filled by a spiritual life and God.Just look around, I think our society speaks loudly to this issue. I see a lot of unhappy people because they are chasing after the wrong dream or they've given up.So how can we have a desire for what is good and godly?

Above all else, knowing God as our Lord and Savior is the prerequisite for having a godly appetite.Only God can give us what we truly need, but we have the choice to eat wholesome truth from the Word of God or fill ourselves up with junk food that the world offers. Not everyone who calls themselves a Christian knows God or what He has to offer. If we do not, we will live a defeated life. We may be able to go a few rounds with our opponent, but in the end Satan and his demons will win if we don't meditate and fill up on God's Word (The Bible). Once we have truly experienced God and truth, everything else will taste like straw, (which is fine for horses, but we need more nutrition).

So far we've laid the foundation for living like an Olympian--knowing God and having the desire to live victoriously, which comes from having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Next we need to train ourselves in our pursuit of godliness,believing that what God says is true.Just as the Olympic athlete needs to believe in His or her potential and what their trainer tells them they can do, we need to believe who we are in Christ, which will be the subject of my next post, so this one won't be too long!