But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Growing up at a relatively small Christian school, they were only able to offer one sport at a time. For the guys, it was soccer in the fall and wrestling in the winter months. Things changed dramatically when I was going into the eighth grade because my school decided to switch from wrestling to basketball. Since almost every guy in the school played whatever sport was in season, we were all on board and ready to learn. Teaching wrestlers to play basketball is not an easy task for even the most seasoned coach.
The first season didn’t go so well, and I’m not sure we even won a game. By the second season, things started to turn around. We became ecstatic with our first win, and we were smitten with a desire to improve. The big moment came about half-way through that second season. I can remember like it was yesterday – the game where we finally scored over fifty points. The crowd was so loud in the gymnasium that it was almost impossible to hear yourself think. We grew hungry for more victories and more games over fifty points. Throughout the rest of that season and into the subsequent ones, our team of former wrestlers was able to string together many triumphs and games where we scored well over fifty points.
The battles in our Christian life are a whole lot like a struggling new basketball team. When the devil is pounding on us, and we feel that we can do nothing but give in and accept defeat, we just make it that much easier the next time to give in to his temptations. But when we stand up to the devil’s advances and win a victory, it makes us want to win so much more the next time. Defeat leads to defeat, but victory leads to victory. When you are tempted to look at something on the internet that you know you should avoid, and you actually avoid it, it makes you feel good for winning the battle. The next time you are faced with the same temptation, those feelings of victory well up inside, and it makes you want to win another battle. The positives that result from victory make you want to experience more positives. Winning that battle makes it easier to say no to the devil the next time and on it goes until you are no longer a miserable, defeated loser but a victorious conqueror through Jesus Christ.
Quote of the day: “Decisions become easier when your will to please God outweighs your will to please the world.”