The British Olympians in Team GB had a belief in themselves that they were going to do well.
In my post, ‘How’s Your Training Going?‘, I explored the apostle Paul’s Olympic analogy from 1 Corinthians chapter 9. I now want to take the analogy further still, and look at what else we can learn from Olympic athletes. During the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil, a gymnast from Team GB, was asked why he thought that the British team had done so well (second only to the much larger USA). The gymnast replied, “I think it’s belief“. He went on to explain that the British Olympians in Team GB had a belief in themselves that they were going to do well. The result of this belief that they could do well, was that they did do well.
Right from the point of initially being saved, belief is absolutely vital.
The importance of belief is even more true in the life of a Christian. Every single promise that God has made to us in the Bible has to be received by faith. If you want the kind of peace that Jesus promised in John 14:27, you have to believe that it’s yours, in order to receive it. If you want the healing promised in Isaiah 53:5, you have to believe that you are healed, in order for that healing to manifest in your body. Right from the point of initially being saved, belief is absolutely vital – “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9). Jesus summed by the importance of belief in Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (New International Version).
Hunger for more should characterise our lives as Christian.
I watched the 200m sprint final, in which a British athlete finished equal third place according to the times, but was eventually awarded fourth place based on an extremely narrow margin shown on the photographic evidence. When interviewed, the athlete was very hard on himself, promising to do better in the future. Back in the BBC studio, the presenters talked of how well he had done and of what a close result it was. When it was questioned whether he had been too hard on himself, one of the presenters, a former American Olympic champion said, “No, it’s good that he’s being hard on himself. It shows that he isn’t satisfied, that he’s hungry for more“. This hunger for more, this attitude of not being satisfied should characterise our lives as Christians.
Being content does not mean being complacent.
Sadly, this hunger for more is lacking in many Christians. Too often they misapply what Paul said in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content“. This verse does not mean that we should be content to stay where we are and never improve. It means that whilst we should be content and happy in our current situation, we should be hungry for more. Psalm 81:10 says, “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it“. Being content does not mean being complacent, never desiring for more. An athlete who does well in their local sports club should be pleased, but not satisfied, if they have a dream of one day making it to the Olympics. They should train harder and keep going forward, so that they can be the best in their area, progressing towards being among the best in their country and making it to the Olympics.
Wherever you are at, there is always more.
For some athletes, making it to the Olympics is enough – they are satisfied with their achievement. But not for those who’s dream is of a gold medal. For them, making to the Olympics is great and they are pleased with what they have achieved, but if they did not win gold this time round they are not satisfied. So they determine to go away and train harder, to train smarter, so they can achieve a greater result the next time. Some Christians are satisfied with being saved and never progress any further. Others believe God for their basic needs to be met and are satisfied when that happens, never progressing to the stage where God can use them to provide for others. The point is, wherever you are at, there is always more. For example, have you been healed? That’s great, but do you still sometimes get sick? Do you still sometimes get a cold? Then there’s more – move from simply believing for healing every time you get sick, start believing for divine health, refuse to allow those symptoms to come on your body.
It is not greedy to want more, it is not bad to be dissatisfied with where you are in life. As Christians we are blessed to be a blessing and the higher we progress, in every area of life, the more we can be the blessing to others that we are called to be. So keep going, keep pressing onward and upward.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.