"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).
Today we conclude our thoughts about the call that is on our lives to conduct ourselves as champions; that summons from on high for us 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. Here, then, is the fifth and final fact regarding our Olympic championship.
Fact #5 -- There is a Means By Which We Win
"To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me." (Colossians 1:29)
As we have already noted, the life we have with Jesus is not about imitation -- it's about indwelling. In other words, Christ being Himself in and through us in the sphere of our influence; empowering us by His Spirit to do His will and achieve His purposes. That's the secret which has been made known -- "Christ in you, the hope of Glory."
Jesus said, "Without Me, you can do nothing"(John 15:5). Perhaps there are some who are trying to help the Lord out by doing things for Him -- things He never asked them to do. Much of our religious fervor falls into this category, and ultimately becomes the wood, hay, and stubble burned up just before we enter the Golden Gates.
As Champions, we are to acknowledge the authority and power of Jesus Christ by submitting our lives to His Lordship that we might therein find the strength of character to overcome all opponents. And as we discover the wonder of His indwelling Spirit we can exclaim in the words of the Apostle Paul: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" (Phil4:13).
This way He gets all the glory.
As we conclude this five-part series, let me sum it up by saying -- half-hearted contenders never make it to the championship level. They give up somewhere along the way because of the various difficulties they encounter. They lack that inner quality of character that drives true champions to excellence and to victory.
There is a contest in which we struggle, an opponent against which we contend, a goal toward which we press, a strategy by which we advance, and a means by which we win. Each of us must decide the extent to which we are willing to go to show ourselves as true men and women of God, as champions in a world of quitters.
See You at the Finish Line!