1 Kings 18:39 – When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The Lord — he is God! The Lord — he is God!" (NIV)
Psalm 5:3 – In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before you and wait in expectation. (NIV)
Competition in our town is great. There are two major schools in our community with rival sports teams: the city "Bulldogs" and the county "Yellow Jackets". When these two schools play each in other in football, emotions in our community run high. Whether one is a football fan or not, everyone is aware that something of immense importance is taking place, and they find themselves caught up in the competition.
This always brings to mind the service in 1 Kings, chapter eighteen, where Elijah and the prophets of Baal assembled on Mount Carmel to have a contest between their gods. The prophets of Baal worked themselves into a frenzy, petitioning Baal to answer them. Elijah, even though he was alone, displayed an incredible amount of confidence and expectation. He trusted in his God and felt no need for a display of emotion to have Him respond. We know the outcome of this contest: the fire of the Lord fell and consumed Elijah's offerings. There was no response from Baal.
Competition between schools, political parties, and businesses is good as long as we remember that God is God of the "Bulldogs" as well as of the "Yellow Jackets". He is a God of praise and enthusiasm, as well as trust, calmness, and quietness. When one overshadows the other, it becomes easy to forget that one god is the Lord of all.
Prayer: Lord God, Creator of us all, help us keep our competition on a friendly basis, remembering that whether we win or lose, You are still the God of all. Amen.