As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to represent the United States in the Olympics. I’ve dreamed of marching in the Opening Ceremonies, shooting my perfect match as a member of the USA Shooting Team, and being awarded the gold medal as my mom and dad cheer from the stands. What an honor it would be to compete on the World’s stage, representing my country.
But God has something even greater than the Olympic Games in mind for His children. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:20 “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ.” The dictionary defines ambassador as: an authorized messenger or representative. As a Christian I now represent something of more value and worth than any country in any Olympic event; I represent Jesus.
Matt Wallis, chiropractor and man of faith, said “The greatest accomplishment in life is not winning eight gold medals in a single Olympics, but rather to have the glory of God written all over you.” When athletes compete in any sport on the Olympic level they have their country’s name written on their clothes, equipment, sometimes even tattooed on their skin. But to have the glory of God written all over me, and to have everyone know I represent Him without reading it on my clothes and without me saying any words, wow! Now that would be a true honor.
Greater still is that God would allow us to represent Him. We don’t deserve Him or His mercy in saving us, and even though we sin He still allows His name to be associated with us. If you win the gold medal in the Olympics and then test positive for drugs you lose the gold medal and your name gets erased from the record books. However, if we are truly saved and fall into sin God doesn’t take our salvation away and He doesn’t erase our name from the book of life. No, Jesus says in John 10:27-30, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”
If we do win the gold, we have to remember that it will one day fade away as all earthly treasures will. In Psalm 19:10, David is talking about the commandments of the Lord and says, “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, fine gold.” We are to strive for the commandments of the Lord more than gold, more than Olympic gold. Proverbs 3:13-14 says, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.” Again, the Bible is telling us that silver and even gold (Olympic medals or otherwise) are not what is to be treasured. It is God, His commandments, and His wisdom that we truly need to live for.
God has changed my desire of representing the USA in the Olympics, to a desire of wanting to represent my Father wherever He takes me. If He takes me to the Olympics that is amazing, but if He doesn’t have the Olympics in my path He is still amazing. He wants my dream, my goal, and my life to be all about representing Him.
I may never stand on the tallest podium and hear the star spangled banner play, but one day I will stand before the Father and I want to Him to say, “Well done good and faithful servant. You represented Me well.”