DAY 26 Winning Edge Devotions
1 PET. 4: 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
When we make the playoffs, I always try to remind our team to expect incredible intensity. The stakes are much higher because the loser is done. This makes everything more intense. If a team fails to recognize the seriousness of the moment, they will fail.
A lot of times, this happens in our spiritual lives before we are even aware of the stakes. When you make a decision to live for God, you immediately enter into a high stakes competition with eternal consequences.
When we refuse to acknowledge God, our lives just seem to move along. We have an endless appetite for distractions and we confuse a life of activity for a life of meaning. This wandering through life may cost us years of living with no real direction or purpose. We move from one marker to another and we never seem to have any turmoil or struggles.
When we awaken to the things of God, we find now that we have been in an eternal struggle all along. Our enemy has done an excellent job in blinding us to the things that really matter. We are now engaged in a joyous struggle. We find that we have died and Christ lives in us. He has purchased us with His precious blood and we now have a desire to live for Him.
Our lives now consist of a strange urgency. We feel so alive and we are pressed into a glorious service of faith. Every conversation now is important. We begin to see every life in light of eternity.
Peter tells us to not be surprised when we find ourselves in a fire-fight. In fact, we should expect incredible intensity. Our enemy is more aware of us and we are now dangerous to his cause. We also begin to dislike the sin in us and we desire sweeping changes in our soul. We also find ourselves growing as strangers in this world, sometimes even having to suffer mockery or persecution.
Paul also says for us to ‘rejoice’- this is evidence of a life of meaning and glory! It is evidence of God’s spirit being a part of our lives. The trials are actually comforts!
It is a great privilege to play a playoff game. It is a game that matters. We don’t mind the added pressure and increased intensity. So it is with our life in Christ. We are serving the Lord, and our lives matter. We are finding the true purpose for which we were created! Enjoy the battle, enjoin the battle!
Father, thank you for allowing us to participate in living lives of meaning and purpose. Please keep the eternal perspective on our minds and let us rejoice that You are in control. You allow the pacer to be just right. You give us rest when we need it and You lead us through trials in just the right way and time. Thank you for letting us count!