The USA Men’s Basketball team entered the Olympics as the clear favorite to take home the gold medal. Steph Curry and LeBron James aren’t playing, but the team is still stacked with elite NBA players and high expectations are understood. 

With so much talent on the roster, it was believed they would blow away the competition and dominate the rest of the world. However, despite the deep confidence the USA players and most onlookers had for the team’s success, they have struggled and shown vulnerability.

USA only beat Serbia and France by three points each, and had to pull away at the end against Australia to win by ten. Although surprising to witness the USA not consistently dominant and dealing with a few “scares,” overconfidence and a lack of full effort has been the story.

USA has had to learn not to take their opponents for granted or overlook their abilities to knock them off. They need to be careful not to think they are “too good” to get beat.

As followers of Jesus, we also have to be alert and aware of our opponents. Evil and temptation are all around us, and we must take the fight seriously. We need to be careful about becoming too overconfident in our own abilities to resist temptation and believing we’re “too good” to get beat.

When we realize our need for Jesus each day, we can face our opponents around every corner. By putting our confidence in Him, He gives us strength to resist the sin.

The Bible tells us in James 4:7 (NLT), “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Ephesians 6:11 (ESV) says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Our opponent is real. Let’s not overlook our need to bring maximum effort to defeat the schemes we’re up against. When we trust God, He gives us strength to win.

Today, let’s remember not to fall into the trap of being prideful in ourselves. Instead, let’s consider the importance of battling with the confidence only Jesus can provide. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that evil is real and temptation surrounds me. Please help me not to overlook my opponent, and trust Your strength for victory. I pray I continue to battle against past sins, and not allow them to creep back into my life through pride and overconfidence. Thank you for Your grace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.