Blake Allen, Student and Outreach Minister, LHBC

Galatians 5:24
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

When you watch the Olympics one thing is certain: those who are competing are the best of the best. To get to this level the athletes have had to train their whole life. Hours of blood, sweat, and tears have prepared them for this moment. But no matter how much preparation and training they have done, the victory is determined by how well they perform when it’s game time. 

I have been thinking about this lately as it applies to trials, testing, and temptations. Because we can read about putting on the armor of God, reading our word, praying, memorizing scripture, sharing our faith, turning from sin, etc., all day long but when it’s game time what will you do? 

What will you choose to do when it’s 11 pm at night and you realize you have spent any time in God’s word? When your schedule is overloaded will you skip your devotional time with God? How will you respond when that person on the highway cuts you off in traffic? In the moment of temptation will you choose the flesh or the spirit? When life presents you with difficulties, will you trust God or forsake Him? 

I’m starting to be more aware of “game time” moments in my life.  We have the opportunity to choose the flesh or the spirit when it’s game time. These are moments when we need to walk the walk after we’ve talked the talk. We are called to not only be hearers of the word, but also doers of the word according to James. The reality is we will choose the Spirit or the flesh when facing trials, testing, and temptations. And we can talk about what we should do but the victory is determined by what happens when it’s game time. 

If we are going to experience success when faced with trials, testing, or temptations, we must crucify the flesh. If misplaced, our passions and desires in game time moments can lead us in dangerous places. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that, “the heart is deceitful above all things.” This is a further reason we need to crucify the flesh. To crucify the flesh means we put away our sinful pleasures and desires, and follow God’s design for our life. We deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. It’s not about our plan, our will, or our control; it’s about God’s plan, His will, and the Holy Spirit’s control and direction for our life. And game time moments are the opportunities given to us to choose the Spirit. 

We often fail in gametime moments. But praise Jesus that He didn’t fail at game time. He was crucified  on the cross to forgive the times when we failed to crucify our flesh. His blood covers a multitude of sins. He has overcome all things and offers His grace to us. But we must now deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. 

Father God, thank you for loving us and displaying that love on the cross. Helps us to recognize the moment we are faced with an opportunity to choose the Spirit over the flesh. Provide us with your strength to overcome spiritual battles. May we walk in humility and faithfulness in light of all that you have done for us. In Jesus Name, Amen.  

Proverbs 27:17- Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.