More Than Conquerors
It was a real treat to watch the Olympic Games that took place recently in Rio, Brazil from August the 5th -21st this year. The first modern Olympic Game (held under the International Olympic Committee IOC) was held in Athens, Greece in 1896. Since then, there have been 29 Summer Olympics held in 24 different countries. Three of the games have been cancelled due to wars. These were Berlin in 1916, Helsinki in 1940 and London in 1944. The ability to bring so much talent under one umbrella is really amazing, what with security considerations, travel restrictions, language barriers to mention a few. It's difficult to imagine all the preparations the nation of Brazil must have needed to host such an amazing event that took place in its different cities and venues. I think they did a great job. It really was a sporting fiesta. You can also imagine the hours the various athletes put into their preparation beforehand. It was therefore such a delight to watch and get heaven's perspective. I am not really a sports enthusiast, so it was not really high on my priority list. However, I noticed the Lord had His perspective to give me each time I sat in front of the TV so I will share some of them here.
It was really easy to appreciate the vibrancy of the colours everywhere, as seen in the different nationalities, their costumes and other things the athletes and officials wore. Also the perseverance, determination and hard work the athletes brought to the games as they competed. The ecstatic joyful atmosphere as team work was rewarded was lovely to behold. You could feel the boundless joy, love and excitement as laurels were won by competitors. The sheer grief too, for those who lost opportunities, and disappointment from those who felt they deserved to win, could also be perceived even through the TV screen. However the unity of spirit that the Olympic games fosters and the oneness of purpose must bring such pleasure to our Lord as it is akin to the Kingdom of God in some ways. I would like to briefly discuss a few aspects that quickly come to mind.
Firstly, the importance of preparation time cannot be overemphasised. It's usually a time we generally want to skim over because our eyes are set on the goal or what we want to achieve. However, we find that Father God, takes this time very seriously. Moses had forty (40) years preparation before he led the Jews out of Egypt. Jesus had thirty (30) years before His three (3) year ministry on this earth, though this ministry extends down through the ages, through us. It is good to set our eyes on the goal, but this should awaken us to the enormity of the assignment and enable us surrender to the preparation time required for God's result. Remember that there is always God's result and man's result. So many quit and don't step into their destiny because they feel the endurance, obedience and length of time required for preparation is too long. Some others short-change themselves with too little preparation time and end up with man's result and this never looks anything like God's result should look.
If these athletes didn't put in the necessary preparation time, they would not be celebrating the laurels they achieved, so let me repeat this, "the importance of preparation time can not be overemphasised". It's nicely put in
1 Corinthians 9:25 where Paul talks about the strict training or preparation athletes go through to ensure they win. However all this is to win a medal that does not last for ever. We therefore have to surrender ourselves to the preparation or training to make sure that as children of God, we win the crown of eternal blessing.
The excellent Spirit with which the athletes performed was wonderful to behold. A few were disqualified for not following the rules laid down e.g. by cheating through the use of enhancement drugs or starting a race ahead of the gun. This also speaks of the Kingdom of God. The Lord expects us to show forth an excellent spirit such that people will see this, acknowledge it, and give glory to God. This was the spirit on David, Daniel and others we read about in the Bible. The market place, and all other sectors of society will be transformed as Christians show forth a spirit of excellence. Paul in
2 Timothy 2:5
instructs us to always compete fairly according to rules laid down. In other words, as children of God we ought to do what is right, and do our best in every thing we put our hands to, especially when we are not being watched! Our ability to compete lawfully ensures that we are crowned as we saw with the athletes.
The vibrancy of colours everywhere was great.
The friendships that were struck up, simply because they competed together was so lovely to see. Athletes who fell were helped by competitors from other nations who gave up their own position to lend a hand to a competitor who was down. What an example of love, one for another (
), as the Lord commands us to have. This was a third reminder for me of God's Kingdom family. God's kingdom has absolutely nothing to do with segregation by colour, race, class, background or any of the divisions or walls that we tend to bring into things. Father God desired a family that had lots of variety of character, nature, vibrancy, personality, colour and then He wanted all this connected into His Heart and His Spirit, producing much abundant fruit that remains (
). This unity of our hearts bound by an extravagant love we get from the Father's Heart is what flows into us all and binds us together. It's not easy getting along with people we feel are different from us, but that is exactly why we have the Holy Spirit to help us. The Holy Spirit inhabits us so we can walk in His love, and love all those He puts in our path. This really is what the Body of Christ has to model because the world has no other way of seeing it displayed.
Our ability to bind together in love, with those who are different, is what unites us in one Spirit and causes us to have a common purpose, that is God's purposes. It's only when love begins to take the primary place in our hearts, that we begin to show forth God's Kingdom here on earth. Jesus modelled this for us when He was on earth. He went to Zaccheus's home for tea (
), He had dinner with tax collectors and He chatted at length with the Samaritan woman by the well, to mention a few (
). All these people were very different from those who went to the synagogue, like the Pharisees, but He reached out to them and brought them into the Kingdom of God. That is the Great Commission we have all been given (
Matthew 28:18- 20
), to go out into all the nations of the world and minster to them. God's idea was never to be boring and have us all look the same. No, that would not be the one and only Creator God. Let us begin to appreciate the variety in character and everything else in the people around us.
Our Creator Father God's Heart receives pleasure as the amazing variety of children that He purposely created have their hearts reconciled and reconnected back to His and are in relationship with Him where love, trust and obedience flow freely. With this the fullness and richness of His Kingdom will be attractive to all.
God bless you,