"If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules." (2 Timothy 2:5).
As followers of Jesus we are called to conduct ourselves as champions, to stand in the power given to us in Christ and defeat anything that tries to make us less than what God wants us to be. Today we will look at the second fact about our Olympic championship.
Fact #2 -- There is an Opponent Against Which We Contend
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8).
Peter, who wrote these words so long ago, knew what he was talking about. Jesus once told him, "Peter, the devil has desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat." It was one of the worst ordeals of Peter's life -- but Jesus brought him through it.
There is an opponent against which we contend, and we in our own strength are no match for him. Our strength comes from the Lord who is with us, and in us. "Greater is He who is in you, than he that is in the world.
Our opponent is subtle; we therefore must walk in wisdom. Our opponent is deceitful; we therefore must walk in the truth. Our opponent is arrogant; we therefore must walk in humility. And all heaven cheers us on as we engage in this epic contest.
"Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us -- looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith." (Hebrews 12:1-3).