Over the next several days, I’d like to share with you some pointers for our Christian lives from the track and field sport of pole-vaulting, and how we can live our lives over the bar, rather than under it.
The first step is to make sure you’re flexible.
In pole vaulting, the pole has to flexible enough to bend and not break, but also not too flexible where it will bend but give no lift. The key is to have the right flexibility.
One of my favorite saying is “Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be broken.”
In the Bible you’ll find this unwillingness to bend in many different ways like when Pharaoh hardened his heart. The consequences were ten plagues, with the last one being the death of all first born, and finally God wiping out the Egyptian army at the Red Sea.
But Israel wasn’t immune from such hardness. God continued to call them “stiff-necked,” and “hard-hearted,” and the consequences were severe. God allowed their enemies to rule over them, and then Babylon came and took them away as captives.
And it’s such consequences that are waiting for all those who’ve harden their hearts toward God, refusing to bend and obey.
“A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed–without remedy.” (Proverbs 29:1)
“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Romans 2:5)
Because the people were unwilling to bend to God’s will, the Apostle Paul was saying that they were in fact condemning themselves.
Evan Roberts found the truth of this principle and said a prayer that literally changed his life as well as the country of Wales and the world as revival swept across this earth.
He prayed, “Lord, bend me.”
Therefore, to live our lives above the bar, we need to be flexible and bendable to God.