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Quiet Victory

Spiritual Training Cycle: Examination (wk. 4/13)


There I was, high above the class, pull-up a bar at my waist and begging everyone to look. After 10 years of CrossFit, I had finally gotten a muscle up. Everyone needed to know, but no one was looking. As I came off the bar and walked away from the rig, I celebrated my quiet victory.


About 2,000 years ago an Ethiopian eunuch was leaving Jerusalem and heading home. He had visited Jerusalem not for business but for worship. This was especially odd because he was Ethiopian, not Jewish. While the Old Testament predicted a time when people of all nationalities would come and worship God – it was rare. And this worshipper was rich. Rich enough to travel by chariot. The equivalent of flying in your own private jet. Even more unexpected, he had a Bible scroll. Not just any scroll but the Scroll of Isaiah.


Books didn’t exist at that time, just delicate scrolls. They were incredibly expensive. Almost no one owned their own. They were shared within the local synagogues, a place this Ethiopian eunuch could never enter. At the time, eunuchs were considered outcasts and uncleaned. Mutilated as children, these men were barred from regular worship and considered outside the promises of God. However, deep in the scroll of Isaiah, chapter 56, God makes a promise to eunuchs; he has a plan and a promise for them.


When Phillip rolls up on the chariot, he hears the eunuch reading Isaiah 53, a passage describing how God would use Jesus to save the world and bring everyone into the kingdom. The eunuch wasn’t looking for a savior; he was looking for the part where God says that even eunuchs can be included in the kingdom. He was looking for a hope. He found his Savior.


As Philip explained the message of the cross and the promise of the resurrection, the eunuch discovered the love, grace, and acceptance he’d always longed for. Then it happened. He saw some water. He was baptized.


Baptism symbolized that this rich Ethiopian was no longer just a eunuch, he was now a child of God. He had a family, one that could never be taken from him. He had a home and future. He was saved. Baptism was his declaration of this new reality. He had been made new. Everyone needed to know.


Muscle-ups are cool gym tricks, and for anyone who has struggled to get one, it is worthy of celebration. But it won’t change your life. Not like Jesus does. The problem is that for many of us, we keep our victory quiet. We don’t declare the forgiveness and hope we’ve discovered. We don’t proclaim that we have a true forever family. We don’t cry out, ‘look at me I’m being made new’. There are many reasons that keep us silent. Here are a few to speak of:


1)    Saying it makes it more real. There is a big difference between thinking you love someone and saying it. The same is true about faith and salvation.

2)    Declaring it encourages others. Something happens when people see you get baptized. It deepens their own faith journey.

3)    It marks your journey. As we grow in our faith, we need monuments that stick out and remind us how far we’ve come.


When Jesus changes your life, it’s a victory worth shouting for. The love God has for causes Heaven to roar. Don’t keep the victory of your faith in Jesus quiet. Let the world know.


Questions for Reflection:

What spiritual milestones do you have in your life?

How are you allowing others into your spiritual journey?

Have you been baptized? Are you ready for that step? If you have been, what is the next spiritual milestone for you? Mission trip? Small group? Tithing?

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