Apr 13, 2007

Underdog? I Think Not

Why is it that the story of the underdog always strikes a chord with us? I was thinking about the movie Remember The Titans. The whole premise of the movie is about a high school football team right after desegregation. The team, consisting of black and white students, has to get past their differences and begin working as a team in order to win football games. None of the other teams in the district have this issue to deal with, seeing as they are all white schools. They aren’t favored to win, but in the end are able to clinch a state title against overwhelming odds.

Another story, that many of us may not be familiar with, strikes the same chord. This story comes from 1 Samuel 14. In this story Jonathon the son of King Saul of Israel, goes with only his armor bearer and confronts the entire Philistine army that is opposing the Israelites. And what happens next is amazing. Jonathan and his armor bearer kill twenty men and this caused an upheaval in the Philistine camp and on the field of battle. The Philistines became confused and where swinging their swords wildly killing their own men as they panicked. On that day God used one young man and his servant to call Israel out of complacency and into battle.

I think the key to this whole story comes Jonathan’s statement in verse 6, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” I hope you caught that. I think the most powerful statement there is “it may be that the Lord will work for us.” (emphasis mine) Jonathan didn’t know that God would use them for such a great victory, but he did know that it wasn’t right for his people to be lounging around when they were supposed to be in battle. He knew that the right thing to do was to face the Philistines. Jonathan knew that if he was following what he believed was the right thing to do, that God would steer him in the right directions when the time came.

You see many of us are sitting back waiting for a call from God to tell us where we need to go. We wait and wait and pray and pray and what we really want is an audible call from God. But what if what He is waiting for you to do is to move. You know that you can’t steer a parked car. Sure you can turn the wheels, in the direction you want to go, but it’s not going anywhere in park. It is the same thing with us. God can only steer us when we decide to begin moving. If you aren’t sure where you are supposed to fit into Church; where you are “called” to minister. Just jump in. Get involved, and start moving in the general direction that you know is right. We are all called to use our gifts for the Body of Christ.

Ephesians 4: 10b-13 says, “He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christians in skilled servant work, working within Christ's body, the church, until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.”

And always remember, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8: 35-37)

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