My wife and I both enjoy watching the Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Recently we watched the U.S. Open and were sad to see Andre Agassi play his last professional match. Something that intrigued me about the U.S. Open was the system of instant replay that was in effect. It was the first time I had seen it used in tennis. I started thinking about the "old school" system of authority that is still used as Wimbledon and it seems to line up with what often goes on in our heads when it comes to God's promises.
Imagine you are in a championship tennis match and playing an extremely crucial point. You drive a shot right down the line, out of your opponent's reach. "Out!" exclaims the line judge and your opponent celebrates. It looked like it was in to you, but apparently the line judge saw it better. "Overruled!" exclaims the chair umpire and your opponent goes on a rampage. "You can NOT be serious!" yells your opponent to the chair umpire. He rants and raves, but to no avail. The chair umpire is the ultimate authority and what he says goes. However, instead of accepting the call and preparing to play the next point, you walk over to the net, peer over at where the ball landed, and think about it. Your opponent plays off of your uncertainty and points to a smudge of dirt to try to convince you the ball was out. After all, he can't change what the chair umpire said, but maybe he can get inside your head. "The line judge knows it was out, he was right!" exclaims your opponent. "How can you believe the chair umpire when the line judge has the best view? Are you going to let this go on? That was my point! Tell the chair umpire you want to give the point to me!" You think about for a bit and decide your opponent and the line judge must be right. You approach the chair umpire and offer to give the crucial point to your opponent. The chair umpire is baffled that you don't just accept his authority on the matter, but because of your action of offering to forfeit the point, he accepts your offer and gives the point to your opponent. After the match you get to watch a replay of the point and realize the chair umpire was right all along. Your opponent played off the "expert opinion" of the line judge and persuaded you to give up something that was rightfully yours. You shake your head in disgust and wish you had gone with the chair umpire's call.
Have you ever seen a scene like that in a professional tennis match? I sure haven't. If it happened, everyone watching the event would be screaming at the television and going on about the stupidity displayed by the player who gave up the point. Why didn't he just go with the chair umpire's call? The Bible says we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who cheer us on. I wonder what they think of those of us who put more faith in what the devil tells us or what the "expert" opinion is rather than what God's Word says about it. God's Word is the ultimate authority. We can choose to believe it, accept that it is true, and move on knowing that matter is settled, or we can forfeit what rightfully belongs to us by our unbelief in the authority of the Word. God did not make robots. He gave us the ability to chose whether to believe Him. That puts the ball in our court. Who's report will believe? When the doctor (line judge) gives the "expert" opinion that you have whatever disease and the devil (opponent) reminds you of the symptoms...When everyone says you should file bankruptcy and the devil says you will always be struggling to get by...When people in your life attempt to put you down and the devil says you will never amount to anything... What does God say?
Accept it with a smile and get back to playing the game.