Above the Competition
by Pastor Kevin Boushek
The 22nd winter Olympic games begin this month in Sochi, Russia. Thousands of well-trained, developed athletes from countries all over the world will gather to compete for bronze, silver, gold, and, maybe more importantly, the glory of victory. While the athletes will all be comfortable and cozy in the Olympic village, and may even develop close friendships with one another, as soon as they are out on the snow-covered slopes or in the ice arenas, they will compete against each other with ferocity, determination, and the will to beat out everyone else.
Can you imagine that competitiveness? What if you found out tomorrow that you would compete at the Olympics? Would you be, if only slightly, overwhelmed by the sheer number of your opponents – not to mention the level of strength and skill they possess, likely far superior to yours? Undoubtedly so.
Does your life ever feel like you’ve been dropped into a fierce competition without any proper training? Does is ever feel worse? As if an overwhelming number of people and things were not simply competition, but fierce enemies with the desire to drag you to your death?
Then you have felt like David, who wrote:
O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” (Psalm 3:1-2)
We feel enemies rise up all around us. Sometimes those enemies are other people who want to see us fall and fail; who seem bent on destroying our reputation. More often the enemies that rise against us are the familiar enemies of Satan and his bag of tricks and temptations – or even worse: the enemies that rise up within ourselves; selfish ambition, jealousy, anger, laziness, despair, and depression. David knew all these too, but he had a place to turn:
But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. (Psalm 3:3-5)
Imagine the competition now. The Lord is your shield; he protects you. The Lord lifts you up. The Lord answers your cries and your prayers. The Lord sustains you. There is no one who can compete against your Lord. There is no enemy who can fight him off – not even Satan, sin, or death. Jesus was the ultimate victor and champion over them all. Jesus is your Lord who competes for you.
Olympians compete to find themselves on a pedestal and granted a medal. Your Lord has already given you far more in Jesus. Through Jesus he has bestowed on you the glory of complete victory and has lifted you up above the competition.
Beautiful Savior’s newsletter articles in 2014 will focus on portions from short Psalms. These Psalms can be easily committed to memory and serve as wonderful prayers and tools for daily meditation on God’s Word.