Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Resting on One's Laurels


(January 2002)


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of

witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every

weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily

hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race

that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes

on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish…”

(Hebrews 12:1–2, NLT)


In an article in Leadership magazine, J. David Bianchin used

the analogy of a basketball game. In “the 1987 NCAA Regional

Finals, Louisiana State University was leading Indiana by

eight points with only a few minutes left in the game. As is

often the case with a team in the lead, LSU began playing a

different ball game. The television announcer pointed out

that the LSU players were beginning to watch the clock

rather than wholeheartedly play the game. As a result of

this shift in focus, Indiana closed the gap, won the game by

one point, and eventually went on to become NCAA



At the human level, as we have been so graphically reminded

by the events of September 11, we daren’t sit on our laurels

or base our security on past victories. “Eternal vigilance

is [still] the price of freedom.” And how much greater is

the need for eternal vigilance in the work of the Kingdom of



As the Bible says, “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from

the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring

lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand

against him, and be strong in your faith…” (1 Peter 5:8–9,

NLT) “For we are not fighting against people made of flesh

and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of

the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness

who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the

heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12, NLT)


May we, Like the Apostle Paul, say, “I do not consider

myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is

ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which

God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians

3:13–14, NIV) And this, by the grace of God, we can do

because, as David the Psalmist wrote, “The LORD is my light

and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the

stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm

27:1, NIV)


Remember, too, the words of Amy Carmichael, who reminded us

that we have all eternity to celebrate the victories but

only a few short hours to fight and win the battles.


Suggested prayer, “Gracious God, thank you for your great

salvation in the gift of your Son, Jesus, and for all the

unfathomable blessings you have in store for your children,

both in the here-and-now and in the hereafter. However, help

me not to rest on my laurels, but to keep my eye on the goal

and serve you faithfully all the days of my life. So help me

God. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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