Saturday, December 12, 2015

DECEMBER 12 "LOSING NOT AN OPTION"

     WHY is everything about being Victorious, about overcoming?  21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne." Is there not a place anywhere for the fainthearted, is there not a place anywhere for the man who wants to quit, for the man who is going to lose?  Apparently, not even Heaven, of all places has a place for the loser or the quitter. Why does Jesus have to remind us that it will not be those that simply said a prayer one day, long time ago, that will inherit the Kingdom of God, but only those that overcome and are victorious?
     I was in a Football Tournament this week-end with my son. I was coaching and my son was the quarterback. The only teams that moved on for the prize were the teams that were victorious. Why couldn't those that lost move on?  We, my team, were not Victorious. I stood on the field and watched before my own eyes, my defense collapse on me. Almost every other play was leading to a touch down, the defense just fell apart and what followed is our offense then fell apart too because we were so far behind. In my mind I thought, "we must win, we are facing elimination if we lose this game, we must be victorious".  No matter how much I thought this, not matter how much I wished this, it simply was not going to come to be.  And why is that? Well it was not because we lacked the talent, it was because we were defeated in our spirit. We could not conjure up enough faith to believe we could overcome the odds that were now stacked against us and we crumbled, embarrasingly in front of a rather large crowd.
     I believe this is what has happened to many of our brothers and sisters in Christ. They have come up and faced such insurmountable odds that in their spirit they say, "this I can't come back from". It's not that they can't (just like it was not like my team couldn't) it is that their spirit is broken, something has died within them, the will to keep trying, keep moving forward has died.  I distinctly remember hearing one player come back into the huddle saying, "I don't want to play anymore".  This was a kid that loved football, was good at it but he was mentally defeated and he was for all intensive purposes done. It was a bad loss, we were eliminated and we were not Victorious that day, as Jesus would say.
     How many Christians are out there today that are down for the count. They are defeated, the odds are overwhelmingly against them and just like in sports we can come to a place where we say, "it's over, why even bother trying anymore".  In a war, they raise the white flag, in sports they simply stop trying and wait for the clock to run out, but Jesus says, "losing is not an option"  "quiting is not an option" " giving up is not an option".  Jesus is not saying, it would be better if you made a comeback here it would really help you standings.  Jesus warns us, "only those that are victorious, just like I was, will inherit the Kingdom of God."   Now Jesus makes it personnel. Why did Jesus have to throw in, "Just like I was".  Answer:  you'll find that coaches that over the years have had a winning record will not accept defeat, they will not accept people on the team that have a defeatist mindset. They want people on their team with a winning mindset because they know that with them and their experience, they can be victorious. They are not intimidated by being down or behind in a game. Jesus has been through it all, he's seen it all, experienced it all but yet came out Victorious and this is what qualifies him to say, "you must be victorious like I was" Jesus goes further to say, "in this life you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome [I have been victorious] the world".  Jesus is saying, "you can make a comeback".  Jesus is saying, "I know what it is to be down so low, you think it's over, but I got up, took one step at a time, did not allow myself to accept defeat and I overcame".  And Jesus is saying with him, you can make a comeback, just don't quit on him. "For we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus who strengthens us".  We have a Saviour, who has a perfect winning record. He knows what it is to win, He knows how to win and He will not accept defeat for himself and He will not accept defeat for you.  Jesus says, "you must be Victorious".  This is one fight, you have to win, losing is not an option, you lose here, you lose for eternity".  The great Apostle Paul at the end of his life said, "I have fought the good fight of Faith" and would could add to that....And I wonI was Victorious!  
     I have seen people so psyched out in sports that they cannot compete anymore and I have also seen Christians so psyched out that they cannot compete anymore. The difference..., sports is a simple game that if lost, it is simply an ego that is crushed. With Christians it can be a soul that is lost and not just that one soul but all the souls that were going to be influenced and/or were being influenced. The stakes are much higher and this is why Jesus is saying, "Losing is not an option, get back up, just as I did, keep trying, keep contending and you will win, TRUST ME!"  I knew the game was lost on Saturday when I had a team that no longer believed they would win and I no longer had a team to coach.  Jesus can do all things, no doubt, but the one thing he needs from you to win, is that you still believe there's hope, you still beleive you can overcome, you still beleive in him and if you hold on to that, no matter how far behind you are, you watch the miracles God will do for you to overcome and be victorious, losing is not an option!!!