The submarine is an amazing vessel. It would collapse like a paper cup under the extraordinary pressure placed on its hull if not for the internal pressure that equalizes the pressure from outside. Faith in our lives does not exempt us from external pressure. Faith ensures that the power of the living God through Jesus Christ works from the inside to equalize the outside pressure, giving us strength, and keeping us from collapsing like a paper cup.
Real faith involves having something in the distance to motivate us and keep us moving, as the apostle Paul admonished in his letter to the Philippians. We should “press on toward the goal” (Philippians 3:14). Imagine an Olympic swimmer as he propels his body forward, stretching his chest, giving every ounce of energy to reach the goal.
There is nothing unholy about wanting to be a winner. The opposite is true: There is a great deal unholy about not wanting to be a winner. One of the most inspiring films I’ve seen is Chariots of Fire, the true story of Olympic champion Eric Liddell. Eric was a devout Christian, but he never thought of his faith as something that would cause him to hold back and allow others to run ahead of him. He viewed his athletic skill as an empowering gift that enabled him to run and win not for his own glory but for God’s glory.
Real faith takes care of what was and empowers us for what is. It also assures us of what will be. Faith gives us a focus for our future, helps us move toward our destiny, and provides us the capacity to continue working toward a life done well.