This year I decided to approach the Olympics with an open mind. I even sacrificed and watched the opening ceremonies with my hubby last night for our date night. I love that in this point of my life God is constantly finding new ways to teach me and mold me. As I was contemplating the Olympics I noticed some ways that God would want me to be more like an Olympic athlete. I am not saying that God wants me to begin gymnastics or to become actively involved in a sport, but God does want me to have the same determination and drive in my Christian walk.
Lets break down the athletes and what makes them successful:
They Set a Goal- On an interview I heard an athlete describe his disappointment in receiving the silver medal in the last Olympic Games. To paraphrase he said that an athlete doesn't go to the Olympics to get silver. They go to get the Gold, anything less is losing.
They Choose Coaches- They choose the best of the best when it comes to coaches. Then they have to trust their coach to know what is best for them and they submit themselves to their coach.
They Focus- They focus all of their attention on obtaining their goal. They visualize it and they strive for it.
They Train- They don't just wake up one morning and decide to go to the Olympics. They take years and train their bodies. They compete against other athletes and push their bodies to new limits.
They Sacrifice- There was a commercial on last night that I found very interesting. It was the athletes all describing ways they sacrifice. They sacrifice their time. They don't get to just go hang out all the time with friends. They sacrifice things that can hold them back from their goal. One athlete hadn't had dessert in years. Many of the swimmers had to sacrifice going to the opening ceremonies because being on their feet walking for so many hours could make their legs tired.
They Know Their Competition- They don't live in a state of denial. They learn all they can about the ones they are competing against and they learn the opponents weaknesses.
They Fight- They give it everything they have. When their bodies want to quit they fight on. They push themselves to the limit.
What I, as a Christian need to be doing:
I need to have a goal. What is my goal as a Christian? I want to live a life that is pleasing to God. I want to bring Him honor and glory through all I do. I want to expand and contribute to His kingdom.
I need a coach. Christ Jesus is my coach. He has shown me how to live and I need to trust and listen to Him. I need to submit myself to Him and His instructions.
I need to focus. I need to set my eye on the goal. I need to have blinders on and set my eyes on Christ. I need to visualize the victory that God has already promised.
I need to train. I need to train through the Word of God. I need to train through prayer and praise. I also need to train through all the little situations that come up.
I need to sacrifice. I need to sacrifice my time by spending more time with God and doing things that will bring God glory. I need to sacrifice the things that distract me and can come between me and God. I need to live a life of sacrifice for others.
I must know the competition. I need to be aware of the spiritual battle that is happening around me. I need to know the tactics of the devil and I need to have my armor on.
Finally, I need to fight. I need to give it everything I have. When my flesh is ready to quit I need to press into God and continue fighting on. I need to push myself past my limits, because at the end of me is the beginning of Him.
If I do these things God has already promised the victory. The glory will go to God.
Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Acts 20:24 "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me —the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace."
1 Corinthians 15:56-57 "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Hebrews 12:1-3 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverancethe race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."