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  • Henry Omotayo

Eager to Compete at the Olympics?

Hebrews 12:1-3

Message No. 0593 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca

I have watched too many athletes, whose life dream was to make it to the Olympics. The debate regarding whether the Winter Olympics should be boycotted this year has left some gasping for breath because they watched as people make ignorant comments that could affect the dreams of several people across the globe. Some feel that the debates have political undertones, while others reiterate the need to stand our grounds regarding human rights and other policies upon which our societies have stood for centuries. But why, one may ask, is the Olympics so important and why is competition such a big aspiration?


Running a race may not be fun for the competitors (because they are under extreme pressure) but it is fun for the witnesses – the audience who watch and cheer and scream when their teams win. However, as strenuous as the competition might be, all of the pressure and tension disappear when a competitor wins. You’ll see the winners kiss their medals and the paparazzies falling over themselves to take good shots of them. You’ll see family and friends of the winners jubilating and rushing to take pictures with them. At those moments, winners are on top of the world, at least, until they start preparing for the next competition.


In the same way as athletes compete in earthly games, we, God’s children, are in a race. We, of course, aren’t competing with one another; there is one opponent against whom we compete, and the opponent has several tactics he uses to distract us, with the sole aim of making us to lose focus, and who can win a race when he or she loses concentration on the finish line! In Hebrews chapter 12 verses 1-3, the Bible says:


Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God


If you watch the people who run on tracks and engage in other competitions at the Olympics, none of them look at the people who cheer for them. It does not matter how much they love to see their loved ones, at the time of the competition, all they want to see is the finish line. Nothing, on this planet, can distract their attention. Only after crossing the finish line do they look up at the gallery to see their family and friends and to smile back at them.


In 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, Paul gave an example of how to not get distracted:


Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.


And in 2 Timothy 2:4, the Bible further says:


No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.


We may not be running on a track, but as God’s children, we are in a race. And while the race might not be as dramatic as the Olympics or as apparent as occurring at a particular time and in a particular place, we are no doubt in a race. We are in a race that never stops until we lay down our crowns at the Feet of Jesus. We must be careful what we eat, what we say, where we go, what we see and people we listen to. To win the race, we must not be distracted, but we certainly will, if we lose sight of the Author and Finisher of our Faith. We must not forget that just as the paparazzies of this world are constantly looking to take pictures of earthly competitions, there is a constant, non-ending camera on us, watching what we do, how we talk, how we act and how we react. Any little moment of distraction or lack of discretion could be fatal and could mean that we begin the race again or get out of it completely. We must discipline our body and subject it to the Word of God.


In the Name that is above every name, you will not be distracted. You will not lose this race. You will not be booted out of the race. No matter how enticing sin may be, you will not fall for it. When sinners entice you, you will not yield to them (Proverbs 1:10). When the roll is called at the end, you will not be missing. You will finish this race and you will receive the crown of righteousness. Go in the strength of our Lord and you will be an overcomer in 2022. God bless you!


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