Outwit, Outlast, Outpray
A popular reality television show pits contestants against each other and to survive each round the players must outwit, outlast and outplay the other contestants. Then at the end of each episode someone is voted out. You see them leaving, usually head down, dejected and walking off the set to no-where. Sometimes they are crying, sometimes it is as if they knew they would be leaving the reality show to go back to, well…back to reality.
Sometimes after watching the news I think that all Christians seem to be having to fight for survival. The other contestants are trying to vote us off the planet before we are ready to go! The world and its vices are getting more engaging and appealing and harder to push away. The media, television, print advertising and articles draw us in. As followers of Christ we are pitted against Satan. In this game of life, we have to outwit Satan. He is clever; he persuades us to make alliances that seem harmless and sometimes even helpful. Sometimes as believers, it easy to feel alone and abandoned by the rest of the world. We must learn to survive in a harsh environment, with temptations facing us at every corner. With the coming of the internet and more emphasis on television, those temptations can even be in our homes. Outwitting Satan means choosing to be a part of Jesus’ tribe and being wary of unknowingly getting lured away from Him.
Many times those very things that can pull us away from God seem to make us feel the best about ourselves. A new outfit or piece of jewelry can make us feel attractive and special. We want to be more physically beautiful and sophisticated. Often we care what others think more than what God thinks. (He really doesn’t care that my shoes match my outfit and that my Coach hand-bag knock-off looks real!) We are fascinated with what sports figures, movie stars and other celebrities wear, say, do and feel. It is like they are our personal friends and what they have, we want!
We have to outlast the world and its lust for excess in all things. While it is okay to have nice things and appreciate those things, it is not okay to worship those things or the money that can buy those things. Mathew 6:24 reminds us, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Finally, we are only human. The only way to survive is to remember who we are and to outpray our competition. We know what is right in today’s extreme world and we will be reminded of that with daily prayer and devotion to the One who loves us most. Prayer helps to remember who we are and what we already have. We are told in Luke 22: 39-40, “On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation."
As the reality of the world unfolds each day, let’s pray for the day when we hear a mighty clap of thunder and see a brilliant light that tells us, “You have been voted off the planet.” Until that time let’s do our best to remember to outwit, outlast and outpray our opponent!
All quotes taken from the New International Version Bible