Every Day Counts

Oliver L. AsherBy Oliver L. Asher9 Minutes

Excerpt taken from Invincible Joy: Chasing God’s Dreams for Your Life by Oliver L. Asher


Chapter 9
Every Day Counts

In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy declared a commitment to landing a person on the moon before the end of the decade. It was an ambitious move. Though it wasn’t necessarily inspired by the Lord’s work in his heart, it was the kind of “into the unknown” move that brings Invincible Joy into our lives when we step out in faith with God. For that reason, I want to share a little more about it with you.

In 1994, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras wrote a book called Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. One of the markers of success they identified based on their research was setting Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals, or BHAGs for short. Well, President Kennedy definitely set a BHAG. It seemed out of reach—too big, too ambitious.

For the next eight years, NASA engineers, scientists, astronauts, and other team members worked toward that goal. There were countless research and development projects, multiple unmanned and manned test flights, and tens of thousands of people working toward this one goal of putting a man on the moon. The project lasted more than 2,000 workdays.

Here’s the point I want to make for you right now: only one of those 2,000+ days saw Neil Armstrong take the first step on the moon. One day out of 2,000. But each of those 2,000 days was necessary to get to the ultimate goal.

To achieve your goals and finish the tasks before you, you have to do your part today. Win the day, day after day, and you’ll win the ultimate victory. Imagine if those NASA engineers working on the life support system had decided that their work didn’t matter as much because it wasn’t the day of the moon landing. Or if the astronauts hadn’t trained their bodies for space because it wasn’t the day of the moon landing. Or if the mission command hadn’t tested all the communications systems because it wasn’t the day of the moon landing. Every day counts, because every day counts toward the total.

Process Prepares Us for Victory

So how do you win the day? I like to tell myself that process develops habits, habits win the day today, and winning the day wins the victory. You may have heard Henry Ford’s saying, “The process is as important as the outcome.” That’s true because God cares about how we do things—our character. Ford’s saying is also true because the process is what determines the outcomes. If we’re not focused on the right things today, we can’t expect to end up where we want to be in the future.

Here’s another example from my own personal experience, and maybe yours too. When you play sports, every day isn’t game day. I remember when we started “two-a-days” for football in the summer. Those were two practices a day in the heat of August. We were living and breathing football on those days. But the first game was still weeks away. It’s easy to lose heart five hours into a grueling day of football practices when it’s ninety degrees outside and there’s no game at the end of the week. But it’s those practice days that made us ready for the games later in the season, and ultimately—for a few teams—playoffs and championships at the end of the season.

Like I said, process prepares us for victory. That’s not just true in sports and the space race. It’s true in the life of faith too. I’ll show you what I mean. When we turn to Jesus every day in prayer, Bible reading, and the other processes and habits that build us up, we start to see at least five things happening in our lives:

  1. We become more like Jesus. Romans 6:22 says, “but now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” In God’s service, we become holy. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”
  2. We believe more. In Mark 9:23, Jesus says, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Part of God’s process is for us to grow in faith, knowing that God is who he says he is, that he can do what he promises.
  3. We pray more. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul tells the church to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
  4. We love more. You know 1 Corinthians 13, “the Love Chapter.” I’m sure you’ve heard it read at many weddings. When we are abiding in Christ, our love becomes more like the love Paul describes in this chapter: patient, kind, not envious, not boasting, not proud, and so on.
  5. We expect more. Ephesians 3:20 talks about God as the one “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” God’s process includes us turning to him in faith and believing that he will do great things in our lives for his glory and our good.

These things build on each other. As we turn our attention to Jesus, believe more, pray more, love more, and expect more, we find ourselves doing these things even more. And more victories follow. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 says, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

One final quick word of clarification: Of course, the ultimate victory is already won through our Lord Jesus Christ. Practically, though, we still have to fight the battles. However, the scriptures tell us that the Lord even fights the battles on our behalf! So how can we lose? Remember Romans 8:31: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” I encourage you to trust the Lord for today, and as you do that, to trust him for the victory to come.

Order your copy of Invincible Joy: Chasing God’s Dreams for Your Life by Oliver L. Asher