When it’s time for the Olympic Games, everybody watches sport. Doesn’t matter how strange or unfamiliar the kind of sport is, everybody sits glued to their TV screens. I like watching sevens rugby. I was so glad our team won the bronze in 2016 at the Rio Olympics. The winner of the gold medal was Fiji – that country’s first medal at the Olympics ever.
It was amazing to see the reactions of the Fijians watching the game in stadiums in Fiji. Dancing and laughing, some shedding tears of joy. I could just imagine what a hero’s welcome the team would get when they landed in Fiji. The streets would be filled with people dancing and celebrating together.
Almost like 1995 when Francois Pienaar and the guys won and brought the first World Cup home. They drove by bus through the streets of the big cities with thousands of proud South Africans celebrating the golden cup together in the streets.
In Biblical times people also celebrated victories in the streets. Obviously not rugby wins, but victories in battle. It was customary to parade through the streets after every victory on the battle field showing the conquered enemy in chains to the crowds. There was a big celebration and everybody was ecstatic about the enemy power that had been conquered and was no longer a threat.
That’s why Paul uses the same image 15He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
I can just imagine Jesus walking through the streets of the old towns in Biblical times with all the chained spirits following Him. They are silent; they know they’ve been defeated. Forever. The people cheer and sing and dance, because the enemy has been defeated – no longer a danger. Everybody can live peacefully now.
And nothing has changed through the ages. The enemy is still defeated and cannot prevent us who believe in Jesus from going to heaven with Him. Jesus won the fight on the cross. The battle is over. Our King has won. And because of that we can celebrate properly like the Fijians, because just like their sevens rugby won that battle, our God was the Winner.
Fortunately, Jesus does not have to defend his title. It was a once-off battle.
The problem is that the life of victory is not that visible anymore. In a week or two or a month life goes on and the Fijians aren’t celebrating anymore. How long did we celebrate with Francois and the team before we got caught up in the reality of life again?
The challenge for you and me is to keep on celebrating. We must live a life of victory. We must know we’re on the winning side, because then we act differently when facing a crisis. When I know I’m part of the winning team, I start differently and I end differently.
I do know this is easier said than done. But maybe if we start thinking like a winner, we can experience what it feels like to tackle the world like a winner.
What does the life of a winner look like?
What do you have to do to live like a winner?
Will others notice?
Father, You say that everyone who has defeated sin will reign with You one day. Thank you for leading us and for having broken the power of sin in us. Please help us live a life of victory. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.