The Difference Maker

(Day 8 in a 28-day series from First Bradenton)

It’s Spring.

For a sports fan, it’s mad. Basketball, hockey, golf, and, in my opinion the most enjoyable sport, baseball are all in full swing (see what I did there?)

During halftime of March Madness’s game between Michigan State and Duke, one of the commentators said this: ”The difference between an average player, a good player, and a great player is their ability to make decisions.”

Our ability to make decisions is impacted by our choice to bring them to God in prayer. And one of the most important life arenas in which to do that is our weaknesses, the places we know we are vulnerable and tempted to be drawn away from God’s best, God’s victory.

Samson’s story in Judges 13-16 portrays this arena well. If you do a quick look at those chapters, you see that Samson is recorded praying two times-once asking for his thirst to be quenched and once asking for strength to take vengeance on his enemies. He’s not recorded praying about his choices or his temptations. His story leaves the reader asking many what if questions.

  • What if Samson had chosen to pray more often?
  • What if Samson had chosen to marry within his tribe?
  • What if Samson had chosen to admit his weaknesses to God?
  • What if Samson had chosen to prepare himself to walk away when facing temptation?
  • What if Samson had chosen to look for God’s way out rather than to go it alone?

It seems that, like any great team member, one of the best decisions you can make is to not go it alone, especially in the arena of temptation. As a believer, why would you risk losing to temptation by going it alone when your victory has already been won in the person of Jesus? The choice you could make is to ask for his empowering to do something that you cannot do on your own. That prayer could make the difference between you living an average Christian life or a great Christian life, between others asking, “What if?” or proclaiming, “Well done!”

“No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

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