I was intrigued by the recent Men’s Final at the Australia Open between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. It lasted 5 hours and 53 minutes and was heralded as an epic game. Ultimately, Djokovic won but it was a glorious battle for the prize of being called the winner.

As I have been pondering that great tennis match I can’t help but apply the principles from that game to our lives as believers. We are truly in an EPIC battle and no matter what the scoreboard says right now I know the final score….WE WIN! We so often and easily forget that and some of us are not even aware of this reality. We are in a battle that is more epic and glorious and inspiring than anything we will ever watch on TV or in a sports stadium and the prize that awaits us…oh, what a prize. It is greater and more splendid than any shiny trophy, winner’s paycheck or fame on this earth. This is so very TRUE. But we so easily forget or we don’t even realize it. So we trudge along…discouraged, downcast and defeated…hoping that the whole thing will be over soon so that we are finally out of our misery.

Don’t take me wrong. Life where I live is hard. Actually, life for me has always been hard and I bet the same is true for you. But, no matter how hard the battle or how long it lasts…we must remember that we are engaged in one EPIC battle…the game of all games and WE WIN! On top of that, THE CAPTAIN has picked us for His Team…has chosen us to serve in His Battalion. He sees something in us that we don’t see in ourselves. He spotted a winner…a victorious warrior when He saw you and me. And He knows something that we don’t…there is NOTHING He can don’t do with His life lived through us.

Oh, yes, it is one gloriously EPIC battle we’ve been called to. Our name has been called and we are in the game…like it or not. And it is hard…no getting around that. It will last longer than we think we have the strength for and will cost us more than we thought we wanted to pay. We’ll get pretty battered and beaten up and wounded before it is over and it’s will take everything we’ve got to finish before the buzzer goes off. That’s why we need to encourage and remind each other that WE WIN! And, oh, baby the prize! What a prize! That’s why we are encouraged in the Scriptures to…”stimulate one another to love and good deeds” and “don’t become weary in well doing” and on and on. And it’s why we are encouraged not to “forsake the assembling of ourselves together.” That admonition was never meant to be used as barometer of our spirituality or a legalistic roster of our loyalty to a church but rather it is meant to call us to a “holy huddle” so to speak. Those eleven men on a football team come together in a huddle…to encourage and inspire one another and to decide on the next play. In the same way, we need to come together and huddle up for encouragement and strategy about our next move. Because it’s going to be a long, hard game and we need to remind each other often that no matter how long it lasts and how many of us get injured along the way…we are in the epic battle of the ages and WE WIN! And, oh baby, what a PRIZE awaits us!

So stand firm today and keep battling on! Stay in the game, my precious friends and fellow teammates, until it’s all over. Be encouraged and huddle up often with others on the Team…because the game is hard and it may last awhile longer than we had hoped. Remind each other that we know the final score and WE WIN! WE WIN! And, oh, baby what a PRIZE awaits us when the buzzer sounds!

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