Beware: victory lap may have potholes!

I am a big Will Ferrell fan. He makes me laugh with his flavor of comedy, but he does take it too far sometimes. One of my favorite movies of his is Blades of Glory. The whole movie is absolutely ridiculous, which speaks to my inner goofball. I am not sure why it makes me laugh, since I don’t like figure skating, but that movie is my kind of hilarious. One scene in particular is the epitome of not seeing the bigger picture.

Jimmy MacElroy and Chazz Michael Michaels (see…ridiculous names) are both competing in men’s singles figure skating. They are fierce rivals and very competitive. Although very different in style, they manage to tie for the gold medal. While standing on the top step of the podium to receive their gold medals, they break out into a fight in front of their beloved fans. In the middle of the brawl, they manage to set the ice rink mascot on fire. Makes me chuckle just thinking about it. They had just competed to near perfection, but they got distracted by their hatred for one another. You will have to watch the movie to see how it turns out.

A few times in the Bible, we see men have great success only to fall into a trap moments later. Guys like Noah, Abraham, Elijah, David, and Peter all suffered from falling into a pothole while on their victory lap. It could happen to anyone really. Even though God may have used us to do the extraordinarily difficult, we must be on guard at all times. Let’s look at Noah’s story (The embarrassing saga).

“Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself in his tent.” Genesis 9:20-21 NASB

Why was it such a big deal for Noah to get drunk and let it all hang out? Noah had taken his eyes off the big picture. Noah had forgotten what God had already done. Noah gave into his fleshly desires. Ultimately, Noah’s decisions caused a problem for his son Ham which caused him and his descendants to be cursed. God saw fit to have this section of Noah’s life recorded in Scripture because it serves as a reminder that the enemy is always looking to pounce, especially after a victory. Let’s look at Noah’s victory.

Genesis 6 catalogs the wickedness of man in the world. Everyone did what they wanted while following their own passions, desires, and pleasures. Every thought and action was filled with sin and evil. It grieved God and God set into motion a plan to destroy the world by flood. But Noah found favor with God (Gen. 6:8). Noah saw how wicked and disgusting people lived before God. They refused to acknowledge their Creator as they lived lives of debauchery.

God chose Noah to build an ark that would save some animals and his family. Noah built by faith and preached righteousness (2 Peter 2:5) for 120 years. No one believed Noah except his wife, three sons, and three daughter-in-laws. God sent a flood that covered the entire earth. Whatever wasn’t on the boat and didn’t already live in water died. God wiped clean his earth and started fresh with Noah’s family.

Noah saw God do some miraculous things. Before the flood, Noah was a righteous, blameless man who walked with God by faith. God also allowed Noah to see what God was capable of. Noah’s faith was becoming sight. Noah saw the ark go from simple instructions, to under construction, to floating on water without sinking (kind of important). He saw wild animals who had previously been skittish become tame enough to board the ark and not eat him while on the ark. Think about all the carnivorous animals that were on board. Plus it didn’t even turn into an animal feeding frenzy after a few weeks. The ark never struck a mountain top and it landed perfectly safe. God had taken complete control of every detail. Noah, his family, and the animals made it safely through the judgment and destruction. God showed himself to be faithful to those who were faithful to Him and judgment fell on those who ignored God to please themselves.

Noah saw how people lived before the flood and how God destroyed them. Noah saw how God used him to save the human race and repopulate the world. Noah had experienced a spiritual win that most will never know. That is why his little drunk, naked night is so surprising.

Noah fell into a pothole during the victory lap. Noah was guilty of doing what the godless culture did before the flood. He took his eyes off God for a short time and gave into his own desires. If anyone would have known how true and sure God was, it was Noah. Yet, that did not keep him from falling into sin.

Noah teaches us a valuable lesson about keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and being on alert at all times. The enemy, Satan, is always looking for an opportune moment to trip you and I up. He loves to makes us fall for temptation especially after an incredible moment with God. Satan is always trying to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10a). He wants to drive a wedge between you and God. Sin is that wedge. We must be on guard at all times, especially after a spiritual victory. Just because God allows you to experience a win, don’t assume you are invincible. Satan will find a crack in your armor. So what do you do if you have fallen into a pothole after a victory? You need to repent. Confess to God that you messed up and that you don’t want that anymore. Now turn back to Him and pursue Him with all your heart, soul, and mind. It is one thing to fall for sin, it a completely different matter to live there. Repent and move back to the path He has for you. Don’t walk back, run! God loves you and will forgive you. He is waiting with open arms.

Grace and Peace to you as you avoid the potholes in a victory lap. Watch your step!!

 

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