Daily Devotional for Tuesday October 3, 2006
Trying isn't Good Enough
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." - (Philippians 3:14)
This is a word about perseverance. Perseverance means we don't give up until we reach out goal. Last Thursday night, the South Carolina Gamecocks were beaten on their home field 24-17 by the Auburn Tigers, the nation's second ranked college football team ( 1, of course, is THE Ohio State Buckeyes). Auburn was highly favored in the game, yet South Carolina played a great game and was a dropped ball away from tying the game at the end. As the final gun sounded and the teams were leaving the field, the South Carolina fans cheered for their team's effort in nearly upsetting Auburn.
In his post-game press conference, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier mentioned the fans cheering for his team's effort after the game. "I don't want our fans to boo, but please don't clap when we come close. I think it sends the wrong message," Spurrier said. "Our guys thought they did something pretty good when in essence we didn't do anything except to let a game get away that we were in position to win." What Coach Spurrier was saying and my message to you today is that trying isn't good enough.
Far too long, Christians have settled for a "good try." We have become satisfied with "giving it our best shot" even when we didn't get the job done. Please, don't get me wrong, we have to try and do our best at all times. You will NEVER succeed in anything unless you try and do your best. But what I am talking about today is the fact we don't really have winning as our goal. Somewhere along the line we became pacified by just trying. At some point we began to buy into the lie that the world is too far gone, too lost in sin, too depraved for us to ever see victory. So rather than fighting to win, we have become proficient in just trying instead of winning.
I'M SORRY, BUT I REFUSE TO POUR MY LIFE INTO SOMETHING JUST TO PUT UP A GOOD FIGHT AND TO BE ABLE TO SAY I TRIED. I DON'T SERVE THE LORD TO HEAR "NICE TRY," I SERVE HIM TO WALK IN VICTORY!!! CHRIST ALREADY WON THE VICTORY, SO WHENEVER I FAIL IT S MY FAULT NOT HIS.
Let me give you some fresh examples. Last Friday night around Midnight, the Senate jammed on top of a port security bill a new law to make Internet gambling illegal. As you know this is something that I have talked about for years, so I was excited. However, while making betting on poker and sports over the Internet illegal, the gutless politicians made exceptions so that you can still bet on horse racing and the lottery online.
What is the use of passing a bill to make gambling on poker and sports over the Internet illegal, when you still allow other forms of Internet gambling? In addition you can still go to any 7-11 and buy lottery tickets, go to any one of hundreds of Indian and riverboats casinos, card rooms, OTB outlets, horse and dog tracks around the country, on top of the gaming palaces in Vegas, throughout Nevada, and Atlantic City and gamble your life away.
The politicians proved late Friday night that they CAN make gambling illegal if they want to. The fact is, they have done virtually nothing to stop gambling since the U.S. laws have no jurisdiction where these offshore poker and sports gambling companies exist. However, where they have 100% control, right here on U.S. soil, they have done NOTHING! As a side note, the key to this new bill is to make it illegal for financial institutions to transact any business with known gambling entities. I have advocated for over 7 years now choking off the cash flowing to gambling operations as well as porn operations. This new law PROVES they can do it if they want to.
Now the politicians can pound their chests and say "They tried," but trying isn't good enough!
Over the past several weeks we have seen a new rash of shootings in schools. Again, for over 7 years now I have talked about the societal issues that have contributed to these destructive events that happen frequently enough now we don't even pay much attention to them. Between the unstable home environments so many kids grow up in due to parents having children out of wedlock, divorcing, having multiple live-ins and spouses, the hours and hours of exposure they get to video games which treats life as meaningless, the fact only a small percentage of the youngest generation goes to church or have parents who ever went to church, are all working together to cause this deterioration to the very foundation of our society that our children grow up in.
Parents will always say they "tried," but trying isn't good enough!
Let me give you a very personal experience. I am one obscure evangelist, working out of the back of a used-car lot in St. Petersburg, Florida. I have no church with a massive congregation who tithe millions a year. I operate with a very small staff of Godly people. I have virtually no money in the bank, no real estate, no investments, and for over 7 years now have literally operated month to month trusting God to provide and am always 30 days from closing the doors.
The world--and many Christians--think I am a fool for trying to do a "live" TV program for an hour 5 nights a week on a major secular television network to bring Biblical Truth and the hope and love of Christ to the lost and hurting masses across the nation. It would have been very easy for me after we were on in July and couldn't continue to simply say we tried and did our best and forget about it. But I am not here to try, I am here to get the job done that God gave me to do. God isn't interested in my excuses. God isn't interested in hearing my say, "I tried." God is interested in me accomplishing what He has called me to do.
TRYING ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I spent LOTS OF HOURS this weekend in God's Word. I was looking for men of God who "tried" and were satisfied with just trying and not getting the job done. I'll keep looking, but I haven't found any. The men I read about in the Bible weren't happy with "trying," only with accomplishing all God called them to do. They set their eyes on the prize and they weren't going to settle for anything less!
Let me share a secret with you. We don't have to just try, we can win because of Jesus!!! Settling for anything less is buying into the lies of satan. Jesus already paid the price for the victory on that cross 2000 years ago. If we have given our hearts and lives to Him and are following Him, we don't have to settle for anything less than VICTORY!
Does that mean victory will be easy? NO! Does that mean victory will not cost us anything? NO! It does mean that there is victory in Jesus if we will trust Him, put our faith in Him, and follow Him. The Bible says when we are weak, He is strong. The Bible says that the battle is the Lords. The Bible says that we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. The Bible is not a book of "trying," it is a book of WINNING!!!
I will be praying for you today. I pray today that you will get out of this mindset of just "trying," and start focusing on WINING. Let me ask you a question. Next month when you have to pay your rent or mortgage, what do you think the landlord or mortgage company is going to say when you call up and tell them you don't have their money but you tried? We both know that answer! In every aspect of our life we are called to perform. We don't get credit for "trying." If we have to perform in every other area of our life, why should we think we can get away with simply "trying" in the things we do for the Lord?
Coach Spurrier was correct in his comments that if you want to win you can't accept anything less. It is a mind set. Today, I want you to start getting into a mind set in your Christian life of winning, of accomplishing all God calls you to do. Can you imagine where we would be today if Jesus didn't fulfill His mission in life to die on the cross. He could have decided to not go through with it and nobody would have blamed Him if He said, "But I tried." For the follower of Christ trying isn't good enough, we must accept nothing less than VICTORY!!!