If your Christian life could be spoken of in terms of golf analogies, what do you do most often when faced with an excellent opportunity to represent God and His word? Do you hit it long and straight? Do you sink the 20 footer? Do you shank it into the woods or yip the 3 foot putt?
When your friends talk about you behind your back (and you know they do) do they refer to you as the Palmer or Nicklaus of the faith? Or could you better be compared to Scott Hoch or John Daly who were both on the verge of greatness but could not get there.
I see myself as the Roy McAvoy of Christianity. Who is Roy? He is the minimum-wage golf range pro in the movie Tin Cup who lives in a Winnebago at the range. Roy can never seem to finish anything and he shanks life whenever he can. Roy was known as one of the best ball strikers ever in college yet in life he could never amount to anything because his mind was chocked full of inner emotional turmoil.
I am afraid if we knew the heroes of the faith a little better than we do we would find more McAvoys than Palmers. None of us are perfect nor do any of us approach perfection. God has a tendency to qualify the called instead of call the qualified into service. Why?
I believe it is because the self-impressed are beyond the point of having any real value. Their tank is full of myopic mist. Any apparent accomplishment is of their doing. Any failure is someone else’s fault.
God uses people who know and proclaim that only God could have accomplished anything in their lives. God is due all glory and praise. Romans 1:18-32 talks about what happens to people who live in vanity refusing to honor God and give Him His due praise and worth.
Are you saved? If so, then God began a good work in you and will see it through until its completion (Philippians 1:6). The load of responsibility for making that 3 footer under immense pressure has shifted from your back to His. We certainly give effort to our sanctification but not to earn it for ourselves. We go through the God-directed motions as we journey to become like Christ. His plan not ours. His power not ours. His guarantee not ours.
Now tee it up and hit it down the middle. The pressure of performance belongs to God. Ours is to obey; His is to accomplish.