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Michael Phelps won 8 Gold Medals in the Beijing Olympics

The world watched with amazement as 22-year-old Michael Phelps seized 8 Olympic Gold Medals in the Olympics in Beijing. Amazingly this was in addition to another 6 Gold medals in the previous Olympic games. And the 8 Gold medal victories were not in solely personal events but also team efforts. Victory could only be achieved together. He carried his segment of the race, and could only watch as his team members each carried their own segments. – spurring one another on to ultimate victory!

Most amazing was the 200-meter butterfly where, after diving into the pool, his goggles began to fill up with water so that by the last 50 meters he could not even see his goal. After the race he tossed his goggles aside in frustration and stared at the official results. He had still won, even breaking his own world record in the process.

“I couldn’t see the wall. I was just hoping I was winning,” he later told reporters. He had simply relied on his training and counted his strokes to his goal. In one of the many news stories on this amazing swimmer, it was mentioned that he trained EVERY day for 4 ½ hours a day. This included his birthday and even Christmas. 4 ½ hours a day, 365 days a year, for four years since the last Olympics. He credited his coach with giving him benchmarks and smaller goals along the way to his Ultimate Goal of eight Gold Medals at the Olympics. For many of the Gold Medals, he was not only victorious, but broke world records by a fairly big margin in a sport often measured by hundredths of a second.

More than one swimmer had set Phelp’s defeat as their goal. “Before the 200 meter Free style, South Korea’s Park Taehwan said, “I will defeat Phelps tomorrow.” “Everyone on the planet is trying to make him work, giving him obstacles,” said Milorad Cavic, the Serbian Swimmer who was closest to defeating him and lost by only one hundredth of a second. The world deemed 8 Olympic goals as impossible. But Phelps, through daily discipline and training, found victory in every test!

I believe the same is often true in our spiritual lives. How often do we set goals yet fail to measure up? So often we are overwhelmed with the voices of discouragement. Principalities and forces in the heavenly realms are focused on our defeat. (Ephesians 6:12)

We fix our eyes on the goal, on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our Faith. (Hebrews 12:1-3) But then when we finally stretch out and reach for our goal, our vision is hampered, and we can no longer see the goal ahead. It is at these times that the daily discipline and training carries us through. (1 Corinthians 9:25 – 27, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Like Phelps, if we are to achieve that ultimate goal for which God has called every one of us, we have to have incremental goals and daily disciplines. Luckily, God doesn’t come into our lives and demand that everything change immediately. His Spirit works with us in small ways, slowly transforming us to experience personal victories as well as corporate victories in the body of Christ. Many of those victories are personal, but many are also achieved only through the combined efforts of the Body of Christ as we spur one another on and exercise the individual gifts he has given us for the common good. (Hebrews 10:24, 1 Corinthians 12:7, Ephesians 4:11-12, Hebrews 3:13, Galatians 6:9)

Are there areas of your life where victory seems impossible? Are the voices of discouragement overwhelming? Do the circumstances of life seem set on your defeat? Does God’s purpose in your life seem out of focus or completely obscured? Then focus daily on your spiritual disciplines, on the Spirit’s moment-by-moment promptings and you will one day see clearly and realize fully God’s victories through your life! Present yourself daily as a living sacrifice. Keep yourself on the altar! The biggest problem with Living sacrifices is we keep crawling off the altar! (Romans 12:1-2)

Whenever you feel like giving up, read 2 Corinthians 4:7-16. As Christians, even when we cannot see the goal, we don’t have to simply “hope” we are winning. Victory is assured in Christ! Even when the world seems against us, Christ is working in us and through us! Don’t lose heart! (2 Cor. 4:16)

Don’t give up! With God, ALL things are possible. (Luke 1:37)

Get "Go for the Gold" Youth Bible Study Series
Go for the Gold

Need an evangelistic Youth Camp/ Bible Study Series with an Olympic Theme?

What is salvation all about? What does it mean to be saved? This sports themed Bible Study / Camp Curriculum uses the Olympic Flag to introduce the concepts of sin (black circle), forgiveness (red circle), purity (white background), spiritual growth (green circle), heaven (Yellow Circle) and (Baptism) blue circle.
-> Tell me about “Go for the Gold”

Get "Destined to Win" Youth Bible Study Series
Destined to Win

Need a Youth Camp/ Bible Study Series on “Running the Christian Race”?

The race as a metaphor for the Christian life is used in several places in the Bible. This series is a great follow up for new Christians or to re-emphasize the basics of our spiritual Journey in the Faith. This Bible Study / Camp Curriculum has a sports theme and is great for athletes as well as a tie in to the youth Olympic Games.
->Tell me about “Destined to Win”

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