Dr. Doug Posey
Ask most kids in the dugout of a Little League baseball game if they intend to play in the big leagues someday and you’ll likely find a respectable percentage that would answer in the affirmative. With time and the filters of things like talent, parental guidance, support and true desire, that percentage tends to drop precipitously. My sport was basketball and even though the Lord answered my prayers about growing to at least 6’5” (I made it to 6’8”—proof He is,“able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think”), those factors and other influences couldn’t keep me serious enough about basketball as a life-pursuit.
Good intentions are apt to be that way. Dreams don’t always pan out. Running the marathon, cycling that “century,” or earning a million dollars by age thirty require making a commitment and getting serious about it, at some point. Lip service doesn’t do it. A cursory effort doesn’t reap the desired harvest. It takes time, effort, often sweat, blood and maybe even tears.
You’ve heard the stories of those who have labored at something, trying to become a success, only to be rejected time-and-time-again. Today many are some of our biggest stars, writers, most well-known politicians, or athletes. They stuck to it.
Speaking of sticking, one story you may not be familiar with had to do with trying to create a lubricant by means of displacing water. The concept seemed sound, but it was proving almost impossible to get it to work. Chemists tried over and over, thirty-nine different combinations of chemicals. Failure after failure. Finally, on the 40th try, it worked! Today you can spray it from a blue and yellow aerosol can. You probably have one, or more, around the house. It’s called WD-(for “water displacement”) 40!
So, great achievement happens when people don’t give up in the face of failed efforts. But, great successes are also attained by those willing to stand alone, even when the crowd is against them. The natural human position is to go along with the masses and take the easy way. But, those willing to go against the tide; the ones able to see what is truly best and take a stand, tend to become history’s heroes.
Surrounded by those who wanted to give in and negotiate with the maniacal, socialist dictator, Adolph Hitler, Winston Churchill refused to slide into defeat in the face of what seemed hopeless for England. As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he could have given in to the weight of the world that was on his shoulders.
To many, it seemed like the wise choice, like self-preservation, to give in to the Nazis; to hope for mercy from these murderous aggressors. Churchill knew better. “Never give up, never give in…never surrender!” He held his ground. He inspired a nation. Today England is independent. Hitler is history.
It’s easy to see now, looking back at history, Churchill really had no other wise option. Any alternative would have meant suicide for England. Our decision to follow Christ is that way. There’s no negotiating with the evil one. It’s not like either being a professional athlete, working your way to stardom, or setting some other high goal and going after it, then opting for the safe, common path of the majority. There are no grave consequences to that. People do that every day and go on to lead normal lives.
When it comes to faith, we either get serious, or there are eternal consequences. The writer to the Hebrews says, “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it” (Heb. 2:1). Drifting away from a New Year’s resolution, or a dream to participate in a triathlon, well, it’s not likely God cares much about those. But, drifting—like a ship losing it’s mooring and heading for the rocks and certain destruction—from God’s Word, He cares about! And so should we.
How many times has the evil one tried to get you to give in? Do you ever want to quit? How serious are you about what you believe? Many Christians don’t outright walk away from their faith, but they surrender too much territory of their lives by not being the committed believers they set out to be when they came to Christ in the beginning. As a result, they don’t actually live truly victorious lives.
Whatever you have as worthy dreams and goals, “pay much closer attention” to what God has given us in His Word. Satan is an aggressor. Never give up, never give in and don’t surrender an inch!
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” —GALATIANS 6:9