Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Madness

In game after game in this crazy college basketball season, the winning score always seems to come down to a point or two in the last mega-seconds of the game.  The outcome of the entire bracket depends on a missed free throw, a three-pointer that bounces out, or a strategic pass.

And in those last nail-biting seconds, these young men draw on everything they have learned and practiced, having trusted in what the coach says, and done it.  Over and over again.  Day after day.  Week after week.  Every hour of their training manifests itself in the crisis.  It doesn't matter that they have won 28 games in a row.  What matters is what they do right now when the national championship is at stake.  There is no time to learn that play now.

The ultimate victory always comes down to the dailyness of training.

And that is why the dailyness of studying God's Word, learning to pray and listen to God, worshiping God in all that we do, serving and fellowshipping with other believers comes to fruition.  It does matter.

Because in the crisis, that is when one most realizes the strength and grace He has worked into our hearts and minds and souls.

The "someday when I'll need it" is today.  Increasing in knowledge and relationship with Him is not a minimum daily requirement, nor something I can attend to when I suddenly have a lot of time and nothing to do.

Every day you are standing on the free throw line, your friends are watching, your family is depending, indeed, it impacts those you don't even know.  It is not a matter of winning a game, but living a faithful life.

The very last line of an entry in My Utmost for His Highest, a daily devotional by Oswald Chambers, reads:

"If we do not do the running steadily in the little ways, we shall do nothing in the crisis."

That quote, quite ironically, appears on the devotional reading for September 11, taken from a lecture by Chambers sometime between 1911-1917.

Faithfulness does not arrive in a Federal Express box,
but in the daily practice of His Word in our lives.

This book of the law
    shall not depart out of your mouth,
but you shall meditate on it,
                    day and night,
that you may be careful to do
     all that is written in it;
for then you shall
           make your way prosperous,
and then you shall have good success.
Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and of good courage;
be not frightened,
        neither be dismayed;
for the LORD your God
        is with you
                 wherever you go.

                      Joshua 1. 8-9

God's Word changes you forever.

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