Sunday, April 08, 2007

Standing Among Giants

I decided to play on the church softball team this season. We are the Northwest Mules and we have a really talented team. I won't mention our record because as soon as I do things will go in the tank. I am not a very skilled softball player. If it tells you anything, I have filled in for right field and alternate with the catcher. The other 75% of the time I am on the bench. I often get the feeling that I am standing among giants. Not because I am 5'6" but because our team is really good and makes some amazing plays on a regular basis. They really don't have a whole lot of use for me except that they get to feel better about their skills as they teach me some of the fundamentals that I should have known a long time ago.

Another time I felt like I was standing among giants was on a trip to Honduras. I have made a couple of trips to Honduras. The first few were to Trujillo and the last one was to the Baxter Institute in Tegulcigapa. The trips to Trujillo were with the Harding football and track teams. Believe it or not I used to run track at Harding. In Honduras, 5'6" is actually pretty tall but that is not why I felt like I was standing on the shoulders of giants. It was because as we walked through some places that may not have been the safest places on earth I felt really safe because the people who were with me were bigger and stronger than any opposition we could have faced. It was the feeling of being Little Spike in the Tom and Jerry cartoons. Little Spike is not tough in an of himself. He only gets to win because Big Spike is standing right behind him. He just doesn't know it.

In 2 Kings 16:6, Israel was at war with Aram. The king of Aram surrounded Elisha and his servant with a powerful army. "When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." (1 Kings 6:15-17). They were standing on the shoulders of giants. They weren't able but God was.

Through Jesus we are standing on the shoulders of giants. He has disarmed and defeated all the principalities and powers of this world. He has conquered death. He has set us free. Ephesians 2:6 says "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus." Because of Christ we are seated in heavenly realms. Notice that this is not some future event or some "not yet." In Paul's language this is an "already." We view life from a higher persepctive because we are seated with Christ in heavenly realms. We are standing on the shoulders of giants. It is critical to realize that we haven't done this on our own.

That is temptation. The temptation is to think that we are standing that tall on our own. Like Elisha's servants, we often get our vision clouded and fail to see God at work in our victories. We get filled with pride and begin to think that we can do this on our own. We win battles that we never could have won on our own and instead of giving God glory, we try to claim it for ourserlves. We are defeated because we don't turn to God for help and fail to realize whose shoulders we are resting on. When you see life from the shoulders of giants, it is really easy to lose sight of how got you there. It is really easy to think that the power is all yours. In Revelation the church in Ephesus was told, "consider how far you have fallen!" Jesus said, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:14). You get to be on the shoulders of giants because God put you there and not because you deserve it.

Remember who you are and whose you are. Remember that it is not by your own power and might that your life is the way it is. Remember that you are standing on the shoulders of One who is more powerful than yourself. He is the one who is doing it and not us. What have you accomplished without God's help? What can you claim to be your own without His assistance? It is all because of Him. Those who are with us are greater than those who are with any opposition we can ever face. So stand tall, you are standing on the shoulder's of giants.

5 comments:

Neva said...

Way cool thoughts!!!!


Peace
neva

Mark said...

A comedian has a song called "Church League Softball Fistfight" that I really get a kick out of. I had a lot of relatives who played church league softball in Nashville, and they really didn't act very churchlike.

lisa leichner said...

Great post. I don't have anything to add to the serious part, because you say it well, but ...

I love playing softball with my church team. I played the last 3 years but won't play this year for a long list of reasons. I'm very sad!! Most of the other players (mostly men) are way better than I am, but I enjoy it anyway. I play right field, and am glad that there's not too much action out there.

Also, our church supports Baxter Institute. The vice president, Noe Perez, went to Virginia Tech, and has been back here several times to visit. It's a really great work they do there.

Thanks for yet another great post, Matt!

Gallagher said...

Excellent thoughts!

Matt said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I always appreciate it. And thanks for not pointing out my stature!

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