Last Sunday, I came back to Junior church. They were playing octopus tag like a video game. James, the game director, would walk or run, try or really not based on the levels –easy, medium, hard, or (my fav) impossible. The kids would tell him what level was next, but as one little kid boasted about winning the game-James replied, “You can’t win on easy mode!”
I liked that. You can’t really win unless the victory takes work. We have a microwave mentality. Everything now-but that isn’t victory–we didn’t get our country by 55 men signing a sheet of paper–the founding fathers had to fight the revolutionary war. Hitler regime was beaten-not by the propaganda machine of the USA but by the joint effort of the entire allied war effort. Things worth doing, worth winning, take effort in real life–sure in games you can use cheat codes and become invincible but that really isn’t beating the game and it certainly doesn’t work in real life.
And since the essence of the truly real life is the Christian life, you can’t really win in easy mode against the forces that war against us spiritually. It takes effort–real sustained effort to win in the battle against your flesh. It takes constant care, preperation, and above all devotion–to live the Christian life. This was proven by people like Bill Borden, Hudson Taylor, Jim Elliot, David Livingston, Moody, and the many others that successfully joined Paul in saying, “I’ve kept the faith, I’ve finished my course.” Or in modern terms–“I won.”
But the truly awesome thing is that according to the promises of John 1, all of us that believe in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior have the power from God to win in the task of being a child of God. We can win–it’s not a cake walk. It’s not on easy mode, but we can have victory–but it takes work.