Not sure if you all caught the Olympics this year, but I did at times.  I guess I am not dead yet because at times I found myself cheering on my country against another country (or one person against another) for something as silly as a gold, silver, or bronze  medal.  In the Olympics from its early years the reward or prize would be a laurel crown and at times would be held over the victor’s head as someone (usually a slave) whispered in their ear all glory is fleeting. How petty and often foolish we can be when striving, training for years, enduring hardships for years, dedicating ourselves to reach a goal or to beat a time while neglecting the things of God. Now I will not say all of the athletes at the Olympics in 2016 fit this statement, but I would be surprised if  more than 1% of all of the athletes really knew God. I seldom heard the word God mentioned, but the Muslims did a good job of this. Now I could be wrong and will be the first to admit it after all “no one knows one’s heart” right well maybe that statement is not true 100% of the time.  Jesus tells us, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” (Matthew 15:18) (also see Matthew 12:34) In other words whatsoever is in our heart (where are our treasures  what we think is really important) is what we talk about.  If I want to know what you like or who you like all I have to do is let you talk and you will tell me everything you like to do and who you like and do not like.  My old boss at US Europe Command in Stuttgart, Germany showed this spiritual truth every time we sat down and talked shop.  We would talk about critical US military issues in the world revolving around Europe, African, the Middle East, and Russia, but all he had to do to get me really going (his words not mine) is ask how my ministry and church is doing and out of my mouth would roll out the love I had in my heart for the people and the work God gave me . We cannot resist talking about things we really like and things we really do not like.  We as flawed humans saved by grace love to speak our mind and tell anybody who will listen what we think and our opinion on issues. But in God dedication and commitment to earthly rewards and medals (scores and times) are NOT the measure of a successful man. Paul in 2 Timothy gives us the standard in God whereby we can receive the crown,“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” (2 Timothy 2:4-5)  In God the crown (reward or medal) of a race does not go to the smartest, the one swiftest of foot, or to the strongest, but to the one “except he strive lawfully.”   The key word here is “lawfully” it means within the law or framework God has designed something to be done. The Olympics has strict rules in which to compete, but don’t you know God’s rules are stricter?  And why? Because His rewards are of eternal value not temporal. Here is the divine spiritual principle, the greater the rules, the greater the reward.  Funny to know the only rules for salvation is to repent then believe (in that order), but to be used of God and to be able to carry His mysteries and wondrous message in your heart and life, no flesh must glory in His presence. There must be a spiritual death to our: selfishness, self-seeking, pride, arrogance, presumption, and all that is in our carnal nature through His dealings and judgments.  It is when our flesh is killed God can be glorified if not and until then we will exalt ourselves over each other and God at every opportunity.  We will try to take advantage of each other and God in everything we do.  Every relationship we enter will be built on our self’s ability and strength and glorying in each seemingly important achievement, but in reality they are fleeting and will pass away as the clouds move in the sky and as the water rolls across the rocks. No my friend the Olympics is nothing more than man exalting his flesh; striving to run faster and longer, jump higher, swim longer and faster, you name it while shaking their fist in the face of God and saying I do not need you. It is a time when all in the world comes together in unity of the spirit of competition and not in unity of the Spirit of God.  It is a time when man strives to reach into the heavens and pull God down in the eyes and heart of many people on the earth so they could glory in their flesh.  In the newspaper I read and on the TV I heard Olympic village life (where most of the athletics stayed) was nothing more than drunken orgies (24/7) where drugs and sex by all comers flowed freely and I believe this.  The heart of man does not want to abide under restraints or limitations, oh no when out of the restraint of authority, especially God’s authority, the best man will be is in open rebellion and reprobation. We see a time like this in the book of Genesis when King Nimrod (the mighty archer see Genesis 10:9) built a tower for one purpose and that was to be able to put an arrow in the heart of God.  The people under King Nimrod on the earth at this time said,  “Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”  (Genesis 11:4)  Out of their own mouth came their punishment. God has been dealing with this type of thinking (even in me sometimes) in man since time eternal.  Man always wants to make “a name for himself” thus the heart and spirit of the Olympics, but God wanted nothing to do with what King Nimrod and the people on earth wanted.  You see they wanted to come together in one language. If all can speak the same language then communication, thoughts, and ideas (even though ungodly) will flow freely and man will press himself higher in his thinking and in the eyes of other men while God is pushed down in the thinking and thoughts of man, thus man glorying in his flesh. God acted,  “And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”  (Genesis 11:5-9)  I do not believe globalization (every nation of the world working together to benefit each other) is what God has in mind for His (all souls, Ezekiel 18:14, belong to God even the unsaved) humanity. God has  separated the races (back in Genesis) by separating the languages and man has been trying to reverse what God has done ever since. Most of the deeds and laws passed by governments in America and other countries of the world are anti-Christ and anti God’s word. And why? Because the heart of man not under the restrictions and limitations of God is in open rebellion and wants to resist all that God says is true and healthy for man.  In direct rebellion to  God and His word.  In 1963 prayer was taken out of schools and now we see the mess the school system in America is in now we have kids killing kids.  In 1973 abortion was legalized giving women the “right”  (in God we have no rights except what God gives us) to choose life over 9 months of inconvenience in direct rebellion to God and His word. In 2015 homosexuality and the whole LGBTQ agenda (through gay marriage decision) was made legalized in the land of America in direct rebellion to God and His word.  The flesh of the Court systems of America said, we know better than God so we will exalt our flesh and shake our fist in the face of God.  Well, history is full of civilizations and countries who thought and acted like America, strewn over the eons of time in destruction and desolation.  Make no mistake my friend God will not allow America or any nation to exalt their flesh over Him.  There will come a time when God says, “enough is enough” and visits them like He did with Nimrod and the Tower of Babel, but much worse.  God knows the longer man works together the more he will go astray. God is a God of boundaries man wants no boundaries.  God is a God of borders man wants no borders.  God is a God of restrictions and limitations while man wants no restrictions or limitations.  God knows limitations and restrictions ends in fulfillment and purpose. This is why the nominal and denominational churches are wandering in unfulfillment and lack of purpose. Their purpose is to glory in their structure, by-laws, and loyal followers thus glorying in their flesh, but God does not operate that way. And this is why most of the nominal and denominational churches are empting out.  Even unrighteous people know truth when they hear and see it.  I hear a non believers say they despise the church for becoming like the world. The world is looking for a savior (found only in the person of Jesus Christ), but the church is glorying in their flesh and offers salvation in the name of its denomination or process of which there is no salvation found.  Paul tells us the truth and hits us hard in the stomach,  “And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29That no flesh should glory in his presence30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”  (1 Corinthians 1:28-31)  Now this is an example of reverse truth. “The base things of the world, and things which are despised” that God hath chosen are not the things of the world, but the things of God, the things the world would consider to be “base” and “despised.”  Remember, spiritual things are foolish and not received by man until they allow the Holy Spirit to open up their understanding and heart.  Paul too helps us with this,  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  (1 Corinthians 2:14)  How foolish it must sound to people who glory in their flesh.  Ah a mystery of God. When we glory in our flesh or others flesh we admit to God, “we know not the things of God”because of the lack of our spiritual awareness.  But the real danger in this verse is, “neither can he know them”  this speaks of a potential lack in the individual that can only be met by allowing the Holy Spirit (and He will do His job) to deal and judge in their lives, until then they are dead to God and all that God stands for is foolishness to them just like the Olympics.