Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Is there a Tiger (Woods) in your tank?

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

18th April 2010

Before December 2009 there probably wasn't a man alive who in some sense didn't envy Tiger Woods. Good looking, physically fit, a world-class athlete, a wife, two kids, and rich beyond anyone's wildest imagination.

There aren't too many men who have all of these elements of success at once.

Through hard work and discipline, Tiger earned his success.

But the fact that Tiger only had eyes for a dozen or so women, other than his wife, led to his personal life becoming the stuff of tabloid journalism.

Of course, it could have been worse. When his wife found out about his infidelity and hit him with one of his own golf clubs Tiger could have flown into a rage, like another famous athlete, and killed his wife.

Tiger Woods isn't as bad as he could be. But neither is he the role model he appeared to be.

He's not a murderer. He is a serial adulterer.

There isn't a person on the planet who in this sense isn't Tiger Woods. There isn't anything in Tiger that isn't in you or me. None of us are as bad as we could be, but the propensity for lust, lying, anger, and unfaithfulness are all there - hidden in a heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. There isn't any one of us who is not capable, like Tiger, of saying, "It's only this one time. No harm."

A moral code can keep the tiger in you in check for a time. The fear of getting caught is a restraint that keeps most men within the boundaries of their marriage.

In his sport, Tiger has been admired as a man of disciplined perfection. But that discipline, that self-denial, which was so characteristically on display in his professional career, failed him with immeasurable consequences in his personal life.

When push came to shove, Tiger, like Humpty Dumpty, had a great fall. Discipline, apparently, isn't enough.

Neither is the power of the law and the fear of getting caught enough to restrain the depravity of the human heart, and yet that's all most of us are counting on to keep us on the straight and narrow. No human being, no matter how disciplined, has what it takes to keep themselves from falling. Everyone has an untamed tiger within, waiting to pounce at the first sign of weakness.

The lesson to be learned from Tiger's tale is that if you're looking for success in your life, you won't find it within yourself. Discipline and restraint are in themselves never enough to produce that success because all that is naturally in us is depravity. Failure is inevitable.

But failure is never final.

There is hope for overcoming failure. But it isn't in you, and it isn't in a tiger. It's in a Lion: Jesus Christ—the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals." (Revelation 5:1-5)

This Lion has prevailed over our untameable propensity for sin and failure. He has triumphed over every enemy poised against us for our personal destruction. He did it by taking on himself the likeness of our weak, vulnerable and sinful flesh in his incarnation, living a life of perfect obedience to the demands of the law, becoming obedient to the point of death, thus procuring the perfection that all of us long for and which God demands.

Jesus is worthy because we aren't, and because we can't be, and he doesn't keep his worthiness for Himself. It is for us, and for our salvation, and for Tiger's.

After all, there's nothing in Tiger that's not in you.

Have a good week having a Lion in your tank.

Pastor Barry

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