I often find parallels between sport and life. I watched the play off of a Masters Golf Championship. The two competing players were both were on the green for two stokes. The one who was slightly further away had the first attempt at a birdie putt. He missed, but only by inches and tapped in for an easy par. This meant the other player knew if he made his putt the championship was his. But he also missed, not by inches but by feet. Consequently he also missed his next putt and handed the championship to his opponent.
Later the winner said that he went for the birdie putt but really played for a par because he thought his opponent might three putt. What an amazing statement! Here are professional golfers who practice putting for hours a day and yet this golfer expected his opponent to mess up his putt, which he did. What he was really saying was, I thought he might crack under the pressure. His opponent could have also played for par and waited for a better opportunity. He would have survived to play another hole, but too soon he went for the winning shot and missed.
Often when we find ourselves in spiritual warfare all we need to do is stand firm. We don't need to worry about making winning shots, rushing into hasty decisions or trying to impress others.
Paul writes: "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God." (Philippians 1:27-28).
If we stand firm in the belief that God is in control, without being frightened, pressured into quick solutions or looking to impress others we will find it is those who oppose us that will cave into the pressure. Pressure we have created by simply being faithful to God.