Football is easily my favorite sport. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy baseball and basketball, but football is definitely my preference. I can even enjoy a game that doesn’t particularly involve a team that I pull for. I especially loved this past weekend with the many rivalry games and upsets. I certainly don’t consider myself to be a football expert but one of the things that I have learned over the years is how unpredictable it can be. At the beginning of the season the analysts always give their predictions on who they think are the best teams and who will go all the way. I love to see how many of these teams turn out not to be as great as predicted and how others not even mentioned end up having great seasons. I have also noticed how some teams start well but fizzle out in the end while some start out slowly but catch fire toward the end. There are also the instances where teams have almost perfect seasons.
Lately, I have been drawn to those who start well yet fizzle out and have often wondered why this is the case. Many attribute this to injuries, but the truth is that every team deals with injuries on some level. I believe the difference is often the depth in the teams that start out great and stay the course. I think this is why Alabama has been so consistently successful over the last few years as many of their second and third string players are just as good as their starters. Toward the end of the season when many teams get worn down, they continue to thrive because of the depth throughout their team.
I believe this can be applied to our spiritual walk as well. As followers of Jesus we are all going to face tough circumstances and Jesus never said that we wouldn’t. In fact He very honestly stated that we would all face the fire. One of the most heartbreaking things I have witnessed as a pastor over the years have been seeing those who started out so zealous for Jesus but fizzled away due to circumstances they faced. On the other-hand one of the most rewarding things I have witnessed as a pastor have been those who have walked through similar circumstances yet came out stronger. I have often been left to wonder why some fall away but the faith of others are strengthened? I believe this is where the spiritual depth of a Jesus follower comes in to play. I am not just talking about Bible knowledge or theological understanding but by the grace of God trusting in Him through heartbreaking situations even when we cannot explain that trust. The closer we are to Jesus and the more we get to know His character, the more His anchor will keep us tethered to His nail scarred hands even when everything in our flesh wants to give up and run.
As Christians we have access to the spirit of God daily as well as His written word. There really is no excuse for our often lack of spiritual depth. By His grace let’s seek His face daily and have roots that go deep!!!
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)