This past month, I found myself completely wrapped up in the Olympics. It’s amazing how an out of shape grown man can become an overnight expert on events like: curling, speed skating, bobsledding, and ice hockey. It cost me valuable sleep and although I never logged a single competitive minute in any of these competitions, I was burdened with the stress of coaching them from my couch! I remember one memorable night in particular. I was on edge all night; I didn’t get to bed until after 1:00 am (This resulted in me oversleeping the next day and a subsequent bouquet of flowers delivered to my wife). But, I digress… Why you ask? It was the US Women’s Hockey Team that took gold after beating the favored opposition and what seemed to be an infinite amount of overtimes!
So I realize ice hockey hasn’t exactly caught on in Southwest Kansas. But, when it does….. You will quickly learn one of the most action packed parts of the game is what’s known as the power-play. This occurs when one team commits an infraction resulting in the penalized team removing a player from the ice and into the penalty box. One team has a one-player advantage and the other is left “shorthanded.”
Ever felt like you are living in this world short-handed? We know it. Scripture confirms it. So many times, Christians sadly cave to the ways of the world. Feeling powerless against temptations and the schemes of the enemy, many of us continue to fight a losing battle. The truth is, on our own, we’ll continue to struggle to no avail.
But, we try to handle it on our own, we craft eloquently worded prayers, commit to do be better, we try harder, make well-intentioned promises to people and even to God. In theory, it all sounds great, but it’s no use. On our own, we are powerless.
So… there’s another more exciting part of the game I haven’t shared yet, the “short-handed goal!” This is a goal scored by the outnumbered team, duped with the task of stalling until more help arrives, they actually go on the offensive, and though outnumbered, find a way to score.
It’s the same for you and I as followers of Christ, we look at the world around us, attempt to endure the enemy attacks, and continue to search for hope. The same was true for Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings 6:15-17. But check out what happens:
When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.
“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire (NLT).
The same holds true for you and I as believers! No matter what odds you find yourself up against today, do not forget the reassurance found in Romans 8:11. Through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, you have the very same power in you that raised Christ from the dead! Say what? Think about it! Put it in perspective. Go on the offensive. You have an unstoppable power inside of you!
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you (Romans 8:11, NLT).