“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” Romans 12:1-2 ESV.
In the summer of 2020, millions of people, from all walks of life will be focused on Japan for the Summer Olympics. Thousands of athletes will descend on this small island nation and strive to achieve one prize – the gold medal.
At some point in our Christian walk, you told the Lord or you implied that, “I dedicate my life to you.” But do we really dedicate our lives? Are our actions lining up with our commitment? Are we doing what we said or did it just sound good for the moment? I believe that God expects more than just lip service.
We are like spiritual Olympians, striving toward our goals to dedicate our lives to Christ, meditating on him day and night. Let’s look at the life of an Olympian:
Olympians must stay focused when everything is on the line and the whole world is watching. They don’t simply physically practice, they visualize their goals – the perfect landing; the new record time; standing on the podium with the gold medal, proudly representing their country.
And with that goal in sight, they dedicate their lives to get them there. For us to live a dedicated life, we should commit to several things.
First we must visualization or write the vision. Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
Then we need to change our behavior. Paul says I should examine myself daily. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Living Bible (TLB) reads: “Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren’t at all?”
“Forsake not to fellowship” is common Bible terminology that encourages us to dedicate ourselves through worshipping together. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Beyond the coach and the team, much of an Olympic athlete’s training requires a sort of mental training and focus that may seem selfish to some. But keep your eyes on the prize.
Sometimes you may feel guilty for saying “no,” but the reality is that our time is a limited commodity and “no” becomes a requirement to stay dedicated and focused. Sometimes you’ve got to say no.
Stay focused on your prize. There will be many distractions, but stay focused. God has a plan for your life if you dedicate it to him, he will make you the head and not the tail. His ways are not our ways, but his grace and love is everlasting.
Hayes is pastor of New Day Community Church and president of the United Ministerial Alliance.