I have been involved with coaching in one sport or another, mainly basketball, for almost twenty years. In that time I have won some and lost some. It is amazing to me though how sports imitates life in so many ways. For example, why teams lose games has a lot to do with why we seem to lose so often in the Christian walk.
When you lose a game you can usually narrow it down to one of three reasons.
First, the other team had more talent. They were just better than you. It doesn’t matter what you do they are going to win because they have more skill. Ninety-nine percent of the time the team with the most talent will win.
Second, your team just didn’t execute. You had an off night. Maybe you were tired physically or fatigued mentally. The shots didn’t fall. The plays didn’t work. You tried to do your best but you were just off.
Third, you just didn’t give your best. You weren’t prepared. You didn’t try. You just gave up.
As a coach you can accept the first two, but the third one is hard to swallow. You can always give your best.
As I was thinking about these recently it occurred to me that you can apply these to our battle with Satan and temptation. Some times we lose because we think Satan is just too powerful for us. We have to give in because he is so relentless and seems to never let up. But we, as believers, should never lose the battle in this manner. The Bible tells us in I John 4:4 “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Christ defeated Satan once and for all at Calvary. He has broken our chains of sin and we can have victory each and every time if we rely on Christ power.
Secondly, some battles we lose because we seem to have an off day. Nothing seems to go right. We try to control our temper but it gets the best of us. We want to watch what we say about others, but something mean or discouraging slips out. We are just not at our best. As believers we can guard against this by daily walking in His word and in his presence. The Bible is a light unto our feet and a light unto our path. By daily walking in His word we will be less likely to lose focus and stumble.
I fear though that many Christians fail for the same reason many teams are defeated. They just don’t try. They give up. We all can understand that sometimes the Christian walk is hard, lonely, and discouraging, but that is not the time to give up. That is the time to hold on to Christ until he brings us the victory. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Remember, as a believer victory is secure, victory is now, and victory is for all of eternity. In the words of Winston Churchill, "Don't give up, Don't ever give up."