|FEBRUARY THEME: Be Successful
|I’m sure we are all familiar with the phrase, “Don't let your ambition
take you to a place where your character cannot sustain you”.
Last Sunday, two football teams faced each other in Super Bowl LII – it
was a great game. But even greater were the bold testimonies of faith.
Several men playing in the Super Bowl have been brave in public
expression of their faith, and have glorified God both inside and
outside the stadium. They openly showed followers of Christ what it
looks like to be strong in the proclamation of faith in an often,
unfriendly cultural context.
Rex Burkhead is the New England Patriots running back. He tells of his
journey to faith and speaks to how it affected everything about his
life—particularly, his motivation on the field. Before coming to Christ,
Burkhead testified to the immense pull he felt towards worldly
accolades. He craved success and found himself increasingly drawn
Trey Burton—a player for the Eagles—is also a man of great faith. In an
interview, he told a reporter what the call to follow and glorify Christ
means to him: “complete surrender.” For Burton, it means living in
“constant relationship” with Christ and learning to allow “the Lord to
have full reign over our lives for his glory.”
For Burton, much like Burkhead, this deep and abiding faith has
implications for actions both on and off the field.
Godly character counts in every field. And as we continue to mature in
our faith, we will discover that true success is found through a life of
integrity and character.
The life of King Saul can be summed up in the cliché “It’s not how you start;
it’s how you finish”. Saul started out well, only to see his subsequent
disobedient actions derail what could have been a stellar, God-honouring
rule over the nation of Israel. How could someone so close to God at the
start, spiral out of control and out of favour with God?
Scripture states that “there was not a man among the sons of Israel more
handsome than he, being taller than any of the people from his shoulder
and upward” (1Sam.9:2). He was God’s chosen one to lead the scattered
nation of Israel; a collection of tribes that did not have a central leader
other than God, and no formal government.
Saul’s chief problem seemed to be the absence of a spiritual foundation
on which to build a godly life. He became a double-minded man who was
“unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). This led to paranoia and eventually
extreme jealousy. So what can we learn from the life of King Saul?
First: obey the Lord and seek to do His will. From the very start of his reign,
Saul had the perfect opportunity to be the benchmark by which all future
kings were measured. All he had to do was seek the Lord wholeheartedly
& obey His commandments. The second lesson we learn is not to misuse
the power given to us. There is no question that King Saul abused the
power God had entrusted him with. Pride often creeps into our hearts
when people are serving and honouring us. A good lesson for each of us, is
to lead the way God instructs us to lead.
“When success comes before we’re ready for it, it can destroy us and rob
us of the things that make for true success.” (Wiersbe)
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble
yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in
due time.” (1Pet.5:5-6)
Rev. Ginette Howse