And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD.”
The final pairing tees off at 2:30 pm later this afternoon for the US Open Championship. Being in the final group in any tournament brings about enough mental challenges, but going off last for our national championship of golf takes the pressure to a new level. In order to play golf at this level, the professional has physically practiced years and often decades to get to this point. He will be tested physically, but the mental pressures with thoughts of success as well as worries of failure can paralyze the golfer.
The prophet Amos foretells of the upcoming judgment and destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. The inevitable destruction results from their treatment of the poor and practice of idolatry. The judgment was aggravated by the fact they were blessed in many ways by the Lord, yet turned their backs on His presence. As the second chapter of Amos reflects, the guilty will attempt to use their strength, “swiftness of feet”, and skill with the arrow. However, none of these abilities will allow them to escape. As mentioned in verse 16, the outwardly brave and courageous will rid themselves of armor and put on clothes in order to eliminate any hindrance in fleeing. Many times when we are in a pressure situation, we isolate ourselves physically and clear our minds of any thoughts which my distract us from the task at hand. We do not face imminent destruction like the people and nations spoke of in the book of Amos, but we feel as if our life is at stake. In order to be successful when the odds seem slim and the doubt of our ability is great, we must trust in our Lord more so than any physical or mental preparations we may have made. Our adversaries have the ability and potential to attain the same physical strength and skill to be successful. However, believers in Christ are shielded and protected by His hand. In Acts 2, the apostles were introduced to the presence of the Holy Spirit and thereby led to teach repentance and baptism to the people. Upon repentance, baptism and placing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, they too would be saved from this “untoward generation.” In Acts 2:41, we read that 3,000 souls “gladly received” the instructions of Peter and were baptized. In verse 42, we learn the new converts, “ continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Here, we find the keys to having the strength in the face of adversity. We must be doctrinally solid, led by the word of God, and fervent in our prayer life. Each of these are the strengths which prevent the outward pressures of the world and its situations to be determinative of future.