Imagine that you are the back-up quarterback for the unranked Maryland Terrapins and you are playing an away game against the defending National Champion Miami Hurricanes in a televised college football game. It is half-time and your team is down 31-0. What are you thinking? Do you really expect to see victory in the second half? Or would you just hope for a score or two to make it respectable?
This is my third post in a series on seeking victory in this life (Please make sure to read about defining victory for correct context for this subject). As Christian business owners and leaders, we face opportunities for victory and defeat on an almost daily basis. If we are not correctly tuned in to God’s view on victory, then it is going to be impossible for us to experience it the way He created us to experience it.
So let’s go back to the football game! If you are a sports nut, you may recognize this actual game situation from 1984. The back-up quarterback was Frank Reich and his team was actually down 31-0 beginning the second half.
The amazing result is that Reich led his team to victory in that game. His unranked Maryland Terrapins had defeated the 6th ranked (and defending National Champions) Miami Hurricanes 42-40 when the clock expired. This amazing comeback immediately went into the record books as the greatest comeback in NCAA history.
What is more amazing is that Reich duplicated this feat almost 10 years later in the NFL. He was playing for the Buffalo Bills in the NFC Wildcard game against the Houston Oilers. His Bills were down 28-3 starting the second half. Unfortunately, the Bills started the second half with Reich throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Make that 35-3 with less than two quarters to go.
Similar Bible Story
Let’s pause a minute and look at a similar story in the Bible.
The Israelite army was facing defeat by the Philistine army. They were encamped and being forced to listen to one loud-mouthed Philistine that was taunting them day after day, challenging any one of them to a fight to the death. The problem was that this Philistine was HUGE.
The Bible describes how King Saul and all of the Israelite soldiers were afraid of Goliath’s size and obvious strength. No Israelite had good reason to think they could match their strength and size with Goliath’s and see victory. Therefore they stayed in their camps, listening to the taunting continue.
Then, David comes on the scene as the younger brother to three of the Israelite soldiers. David hears Goliath’s taunts and asks a potent question.
“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
Do you hear the confidence oozing from David’s pores? Moments later, when explaining why he should be allowed to fight the giant, he says this:
“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
David was not attempting to match his strength or skills with that of Goliath. Instead, he immediately described how God had given him victory over the wild animals. He simply said that he knew God would do the same in this case.
David Expected Victory!
Folks, David EXPECTED victory. He did not HOPE for it, but very simply assumed it because he knew the God that had promised it. How did God promise it? Look at the previous chapter.
In 1 Samuel, David was anointed to be king by the Samuel. God had determined that David would be king after Saul and that was all David needed to know. After that, he knew he could go “all in” and completely trust God for victory. He simply expected it.
Back To Football
Now back to Frank Reich and the Buffalo Bills. Down 35-3 after a humbling interception in the third quarter, Reich could have given up. He could have watched all of the fans exiting the stadium and joined them in his spirit.
Instead, he led (again) the greatest comeback in NFL history. Over the next 28+ minutes, Reich showed he was a fighter. He and the Bills mounted a comeback that is still in the history books in the NFL. It took a field goal in overtime to do it, but the Bills won the playoff game 41-38.
One Message – Loud and Clear
Folks, this post is not about football. It is about one message and one message only. If you get nothing else out of this post, get this loud and clear:
As Christians, we should EXPECT victory.
The Bible describes it and Jesus promised it (John 16:33). We will not achieve victory in this life if we seek it on our own (John 15:5). But, if we will define it correctly, go “all in” with God, and expect it, then victory will certainly come to us.
Frank Reich could not have won either of those games if he did not expect to win. Going out there hoping to win would not have worked.
As Christians in business, we are no different. We must trust in the God that created us and know that He will deliver His victory. He is faithful to do so.
What challenges are you facing where you need to expect victory?
Are you trusting God fully to do His part?
What is your part?