Links Daily Devotional

Stay Down?

“But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:12, NIV)

I’m not a golf professional. You don’t have to listen to me if you don’t want to. At least not about golf.

But let me ask you a question: should you stay down on the ball or stand up through it?

Among weekenders, conventional thinking goes in one direction here. You need to stay down through the ball, they’ll tell you. And certainly if you keep skulling your wedges across the green, you’ll need to make a better downward move through the ball. But here’s the whole truth: watch any good player and you’ll notice that the complete move through the ball is one that goes higher. Good players always finish taller than they start, with their weight on their left side and facing the target in an erect position.

In terms of your golf swing, I don’t know what this all means to you. As we recognized yesterday, not every tip is right for every player. But here’s what it could mean: you need to change your thinking.

In Christian circles these days, you will often hear talk of “worldview.” Essentially, every human being views the world through a particular lens. Some of these lenses have to do with our life experiences, others with the cultural influences around us. But the lens we talk of here is the lens of faith.

If you are living a life apart from Christ, with no interest in the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, you will see the world differently than you do when Christ lives in you and you seek to honor him by living according to his Word. We’re talking about a difference in your way of thinking that directly affects the way you live.

Eyes without Christ are normally self-focused and devoid of eternal perspective. Therefore, acting for temporal pleasure and the establishment of comforts is perfectly acceptable. As long as no one is “hurt,” you’re allowed to do pretty much whatever you want.

Conversely, when Christ is King, we live with the restraints of love. That is, we follow Jesus because he has loved us with his life. And this following comes with every attempt to hear his voice and obey his commands—even when those commands are the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego followed the Lord in this way. In fact, they stood up when they might have stayed down! They knew the King they were serving was more powerful than the king who ruled in the land where they lived, and when they were forced to choose between worshiping the two, their choice was driven by their worldview. It was the worldview that should be ours still, one that puts eternity on a higher plane than the present even while living here and now.

Jeff Hopper

May 29, 2013

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