Let’s Go Down Standing Up

“What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”

I remember having that question asked of me by a motivational speaker when I was in high school.  He was doing his best to try and convince us that most people are defeated before they ever get started because they never really thought they could win in the first place.

The world of athletics is a great place to find slogans because so much of what is accomplished is done by the sheer will of overcoming what one’s mind says cannot be done.

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The body can achieve what the mind can believe!

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Quitters never win and winners never quit!

You can take the dog out of the fight but you can never take the fight out of the dog!

When all is said and done more is usually said than done!

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

I am sure you could add a few of your own.  But the bottom line is, your greatest opponent is often yourself.  The Bible says it this way.

As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

But the common denominator in all of the sloganeering is the importance of believing that what you want to achieve really is possible.  I used to tell our guys all of the time;

If you think you can…or if you think you can’t, you’re right!

Ultimately, belief propels action.  You can tell what a man BELIEVES by what he DOES.

In so many ways Christianity mirrors athletics in that the participants love to repeat quotes about what they claim to believe but have very little corresponding action to match what they say.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!

What can we say to these things? If God before us who can be against us!

Now thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph!

But thanks be to God who gives us victory through Jesus Christ.

All power is given unto me both in heaven and on earth, go ye therefore…

So let me ask you this, my fine, Christian friend.  Why don’t we believe what He told us?  Why have we, despite the evidence to the contrary, so given up hope in this battle for the culture?

Remember, if you think you can or if you think you can’t, you are probably right.

Christianity, just like an athletic competition, is a battleground of the mind.  The sad truth is most of Christianity has become convinced that the bad guys are going to win.

“We win in the end, Coach Dave,” I often hear Christians say, as if that is justification for our lousy performance here and now.  Although millions of people can quote the Bible, very few are willing to put it in action.

“The righteous are as bold as lions and evil men flee when no one pursues,” the book of Proverbs tells us.  Can somebody please explain to me why it is the Christians who are running for the hills?  Why are the Christians the ones who are begging the government to protect our rights?  Is there somehow something wrong with a Christianity that wins now?

As bad as it looks, what if this is simply a valley that we have to walk through?  What if the return of Jesus is 50…or 100…or 1000 years into the future?  What if the game really isn’t over?  What if what you did today really did make a difference tomorrow?

I believe that 2019 is the most critical year for America in the last 100 years.  No amount of human endeavor will overcome the will of God, but what if we are misreading the “signs of the times?”  What if victory in the cultural war was possible today?  What if God actually wanted his people to rise up and fight the evil doers?

What if the church could end abortion?  What if the church could restore marriage?  What if God wanted us to end child trafficking and the scourge of pornography?  What if the righteous were bold?  What if we really could do all things through Christ?  What if with God all things really are possible?  What if He really meant what He said?

Have God’s people sold God short?  I am reminded of this passage from the inspirational poem “IF”.

Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and faltering man; Often the struggler has given up when he might have captured the victory cup. And he learned to late when the night came down how close he was to the golden crown.”

Sometimes, I feel like we are determined to live out pre-written history.  Could it be Christians aren’t winning because we don’t think that we can?

Let’s agree on one thing:  It is 4th and goal.  We just don’t know how much time is left on the clock.

Jesus asked a piercing question of His followers:  “When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth?”

What you do shows what you believe!  When the trumpet sounds, will Christianity go out with a bang or a whimper?

Hold that line!  Occupy till He comes!  Let’s honor God.  What would you do if you knew you couldn’t lose?  Let’s go down standing up.

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