"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
-1 John 4:4
The apostle Paul often used athletics to illustrate that, as Christians, we are all athletes. We are to be players, not simply spectators, in the game of life (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). And no matter what your athletic ability, your height or your age, God wants you in the game!
Let's do some sports trivia. Can you name the following athlete?
Clue 1: He was the first athlete to play professionally in two sports during the same year (football and basketball).
Clue 2: In his 10 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, they won 94 games, lost only 15 and tied 3.
Clue 3: Altogether, the Brownies won 10-straight division titles while he was quarterback.
Clue 4: He threw for 19,771 yards and 148 touchdowns.
Who is he?
If you said Otto Graham, go to the head of the class. During Graham's 10 seasons with the Browns he was the "winningest" quarterback in the game. "There has never been a quarterback like Otto Graham," said his coach with the Browns, Paul Brown. "He had all the ingredients a
quarterback needed. He could run, pass and fake. He had guts, and he was disciplined. He could do what you wanted him to do."
I read an interesting quote by Otto Graham. For all his athletic ability he once said, "Sometimes desire means more than mechanics, tactics or strategy." You know, I believe that. But the devil wants to convince us that we don't have what it takes to be victorious in Christ. The devil declares that we'll never live up to God's expectations. Sometimes we listen to his threats and lies; sometimes we even believe them. But Jesus said the devil is a liar (John 8:44 ).
If we believe our Lord instead of the devil, we can overcome, overtake and overpower the enemy with two simple truths:
1) Live in the confidence that One inside you is greater than the one in the world (1 John 4:4).
2) Desire to please the Lord through faith (Hebrews 11:6).
As athletes, we know that we must workout and practice--that mechanics, tactics and strategy are all part of competition. But we've all seen athletes, who by sheer gut desire, made the play, caught the ball or made the tackle. That's what the Lord wants you and I to see: that through Jesus Christ and a deep desire to please God, we can and will be winners.
1. Have you been listening to the lies of the enemy?
2. Do you have a deep desire to please God?
3. What will it take for you to believe that you are a victor and not a victim?
"Lord, help me walk by faith to overcome, overtake and overpower the evil one. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."