Undefeated, but Lacking any Luster

So there I was once again petitioning my Lord to remove the pain.

The company I’m employed by has decided to invest in an outside resource to evaluate our effectiveness. You know, to see if we’re giving them their bang for their buck. It’s painful. These guys scrutinize everything we do. The stuff we’ve been doing for many years, they’re questioning why. Being the great man of prayer that I am (okay, maybe not so much), where else would I take this discomfort (well, besides grumbling to every co-worker, friend, spouse, and… this is looking pretty bad for me about now, isn’t it?), save to the One who hears my pleas? “Just take it away Lord!”

Wouldn’t it be neat if we could just get saved, and awake to find a path of smooth sailing until Jesus beckons us home? Surely we could find the attraction in wishing for no more testing situations… no more suffering, persecution, temptations, trials, and that aggravating neighbor next door.

English: The New England Patriots' offense on ...

English: The New England Patriots’ offense on the field against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 2005-06 NFL Wild Card Playoff game. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My Pastor offers a reasonable take on this. Imagine what the state of the Jacksonville Jaguars would be this season had none of their opponents bothered to show up. They would be undefeated! They would be heading to the playoffs! If their opponents continued to stay home, they would win the Super Bowl!

Can’t you hear the broadcast? “Henne under center… he takes the hike… rolls out of the pocket! Man! The Jaguar’s offensive line is on their game today! Henne’s got all day back there! He looks left… right, up the middle… he looks left again, back to the right… being a little hungry, he pulls a Snickers out of his jersey, and enjoys a candy bar. He has wide open receivers all over the field! He throws! Blackmon snags a spiral from the air, turns toward the end zone! Uh oh, the receiver’s shoe has come untied… not to worry, he stops and ties it. Blackmon begins to once again walk toward the end zone. Hey folks! He… could… go… all… the… way! Touchdown, Jags!!! Ohhh… the natives are restless in the River City today folks! Blackmon dives into the crowd… fans are shouting… the rafters are coming down! The Jacksonville Jaguars are the 2013 Super Bowl Champions!”

Is this a realistic response from a team and its fans who are on the field by themselves? I suppose we could say the same thing about our faith if it were never tested and tried, couldn’t we? The term “overcomers” would mean very little without something to overcome. Maybe rather than petitioning for relief, I would better spend my time praying for the wisdom to understand what God is accomplishing through our evaluation.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:3-4).”

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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18 Responses to Undefeated, but Lacking any Luster

  1. We cannot WELCOME troubles when they come, but with hindsight we CAN thank and praise God for them, because He undertook for us during them and used them to draw us closer to Himself and to “grow” us.

    Life with Christ is the ultimate adventure, and as Kurt says – it isn’t an adventure unless there are challenges. I would add that there is no learning and no growth unless we face and overcome those challenges.

    We serve an amazing God who desires only the very, very best for us.

    • mtsweat says:

      Amen Angela! That’s a great take on the challenges prepared beforehand for us, ever doing their perfect work to transform us into the image of Christ. Blessings good friend.

  2. kurt bennett says:

    I love that analogy. When you think about it, a life without challenges would be as boring and depressing as a football game featuring a team without an oppontent. In fact, I suppose that even as there can be no real game without an opponent, there can be no real life without challenges.

    No challenges = no adventure.

    Thanks for sharing this Michael.

    • mtsweat says:

      That is a great thought Kurt, “No challenges = no adventure.” btw, looking forward to reading your “parable.” Blessings friend.

  3. Lady Deidre says:

    Hello, Mike. I was reading along and suddenly Steve says something to me, and I glance to the right, and low and behold my book titles hit me in the eye. 🙂 I guess I need to pay a little more attention to sidebars.
    Thank you kindly and God Bless You!

    • mtsweat says:

      🙂 I challenged myself some time ago to pay a little more attention to sidebars and pages, and was shocked with all that I found… such as books available by those we interact with in blog-land. I’m thankful you mentioned this, as I haven’t updated the new title from Carley. Guess I need to pay a little attention to my own sidebars. Blessings

  4. jelillie says:

    This is great Michael. There is no victory without battle. Thanks for the encouragement.

  5. Rob Barkman says:

    Thank you for the encouraging words. Lord bless you.

  6. Wayne Augden says:

    Great post, brother. How many of need to know this!

  7. lambskinny says:

    I like this one a lot, Michael.

  8. NEO says:

    You’ve got a point there as does your Pastor. Something this valuable shouldn’t be cheap. let alone free.

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks Neo… on behalf of my Pastor. I wish I could manage to get half the effect from my reproduction of his stuff that we get “live.” We are blessed greatly with a Pastor who is a true shepherd following in the steps of our Lord.

      Your terms valuable, cheap, and free, say much. The value of this free gift we call grace is in the cost. It cost Jesus everything. I personally cheapen it when I fail to live by the Bible’s principles of being a conqueror and over comer. Colossians 2:6 is a reminder that if I’m in Christ, then I should be walking in Him also. Victory in Jesus! Blessings friend.

      • NEO says:

        Indeed and if I was awake, that was exactly why I used those. Sounds like a good one-don’t let him get away, they’re hard to find. Blessing to you, my friend.

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