During basketball season there are always upsets or, as they are commonly called in March, “Cinderella Stories.” Last year, for the first time ever, a #1 seed lost in the very first round of the March Madness tournament. Everyone wants to beat the best, to beat the #1 team in the country.
The Number 1 Position
I’ve been watching Tennessee play a lot of basketball this year. And while they are traditionally not highly ranked, they are currently the #1 team in the country. With that ranking comes a lot of expectations and competition. No matter who they play, they always get the best from the opposition. Everyone strives to beat #1. On the road it’s even more difficult to win, as the entire crowd, normally a sell-out, pulls against them. The home team has everyone on their side.
Related Post: The Enemy Can’t Take What You Have (Victory)
Up to this point in the 2019 season, Tennessee has not lost an away game. So how do they do it? How do they continue to win on the road? I believe the keys to their success are exactly the same keys to us succeeding against temptation here on Earth. After all, we are in effect continually playing an “away game.” This is not our home.
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14
4 Keys to Succeeding Against the Odds
Here are the keys to winning on the road…
- Be Prepared: Just like a team prepares for an opponent, we also can prepare for temptation and trials. Preparation involves understanding the game-plan (Bible), and asking the coach (God) for help (Prayer).
- Follow the Game-plan: The game plan is simple. It’s the Word of God that has been given to us as a gift and a weapon (Hebrews 4:12). It was created well in advance of the battle, and provides us a way out of every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
- Listen to the Coach: Prayer is a major key to being able to defeat the enemy. We want to be close to Jesus and understand His voice and direction in the midst of the loudest of surroundings. Just like a team who can hear the coach in the middle of tens of thousands of screaming fans, so we should be in tune to hear God’s voice no matter the temptation or surrounding.
- Don’t Go Alone; Trust Your Team: One of the biggest keys to success is surrounding yourself with people you can go to battle with. Find people you can lean on and pray with and who know how to help you when you fall down. Individual players are not what make the team. It’s how all the individuals work together as a team that defines who they are collectively. Find your team through church, small groups, friends, family, or anywhere, and make sure they are fighting for the same thing you are.
If you focus on these few things, you can fight one battle at a time and continue to defeat the enemy.
You are already on the #1 Team, God’s Team. Keep focus on Him and victory will continue to come.