Maximizing Your EGT

With all the chaos, furor, and clamor happening around us—and what may soon come—our nation appears on the brink of destruction. Satan has created a strong current of partisanship, distrust, division, and hatred within this world that is now threatening our nation. This division is seeking to overwhelm and destroy the very nation founded on God’s principles. As Christians, we need to remain focused on the promises found in God’s word.

I learned to apply end-game thinking (EGT) at a young age, when I discovered the game of chess. I define EGT as identifying the final stage of some actions, event, or process. It envisions an outcome as a game or plan unfolds. In chess, EGT focuses on defining the strategies to use when only a few pieces remain on the board. How do I end this game? I credit EGT for the success I’ve had as a capture manager and proposal strategist. I envision the outcome (the endgame) desired and develop the strategic plan to achieve victory.

So what is our endgame as Christians? I’m certain many of you will answer “to live out the Great Commission”, as Jesus stated in Matthew 28:16-20. No argument there. However, in these trying times, our EGT might be as simple as surviving the onslaught and reaching the end which is the rapture of the church prior to Christ’s return. Living a more peace-filled life is a vital ingredient for growing in our Christian faith. EGT focuses on what awaits you rather than on what’s keeping you awake.

Will your EGT allow you to reach your journey’s end with your faith strong and vibrant or tattered and torn? Click To Tweet

To achieve that peace and maintain a more Christ-like demeanor, I’m applying EGT to my Christian walk. This isn’t saying I never fall prey to my sinful human nature, but learning to maximize my EGT helps. Succumbing to your sinful human nature doesn’t make you a terrible Christian, it makes you human. While God gives us an avenue to forgiveness, through confession and repentance (1 John 1:9), our goal should not be forgiveness, but becoming more like Christ.

Mine may not be the only way to maximize your EGT, but it’s a method that’s working for me. My EGT focuses on the words of 2 Peter 1:4 (NKJV); “… by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises…”. When the world closes in on me, I apply these words by singing the chorus to one of my all-time favorite hymns; written in 1886 by Russell K. Carter, “Standing on the Promise”. These words remind me my life belongs to Christ and how He assures me I am no longer of this world, but a sojourner through it.

Standing, standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing, standing
I’m standing on the promises of God

So what are the promises of God? According to Mr. Victor Knowles, in an article entitled Promise and Fulfillment: Believing the Promises of God[i], a Canadian scholar determined there were 8,810 promises in the Bible. Of that number, 7,487 of them were promises made by God to humankind. Trying to think on that volume would take a lifetime. I prefer to think in terms of the five promises Pastor James MacDonald focused on in Always True: God’s 5 Promises for when life is Hard, published in 2011. They are:

  1. God is always with me.
  2. God is always in control.
  3. God is always good.
  4. God is always watching.
  5. God is always victorious.

I’ve always appreciated how the author showed it is God’s very nature that makes His promises trustworthy. God’s character, will, and promises are unchanging. We can have complete confidence in God’s reliability to make good on His promise because of His unchanging character.

Need more evidence of how God keeps His promises? Look no further than the prophecies found in His word. According to many great theologians and Bible scholars, there are approximately 2,500 prophecies found in God’s word. Of these, over 2,000 of them have been fulfilled in great detail and accuracy. Not 60 percent of them; not 95 percent of them, but 100 percent of those that occurred were exact in their description. The statistical odds of those 2,000 prophecies being fulfilled as predicted being in the neighborhood of 102000 (that’s a 1, followed by 2,000 zeroes folks). With that kind of statistical probability to support them, I’m apt to believe the remaining 500 (the end time prophecies) will also come true.

If your EGT is winning this game called life, then you should use strategies focused on how you can best achieve that goal. Click To Tweet

While God’s word assures our salvation, our journey to reach that goal remains in question. Our ability to share the gospel message effectively through our testimony is at issue. The more time Christians spend railing against the things of this world, the weaker our testimony becomes.

If our goal is to be effective witnesses for God, shouldn’t our lives reflect our beliefs? Click To Tweet

The more we Christians exhibit God’s peace, love, and patience in this world—especially when all around is falling apart—the more others will take note. We can’t live in perfect peace because we are not yet living in a perfect world. We find our hope in God’s promises of the eternal home awaiting us. Until that day, let’s maximize our EGT by focusing on the home that awaits us and not this temporary existence.

God’s blessings,

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[i] Knowles, Victor (1998) “Promise and Fulfillment: Believing the Promises of God,” Leaven: Vol. 6 : Iss. 3 , Article 4. Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/leaven/vol6/iss3/4

52 thoughts on “Maximizing Your EGT

  1. Wow! I’d never heard that statistic about those prophesies coming true, J. D. If that’s not enough to stand upon, I don’t know what is.
    God is true, faithful and unchanging. We can, and must, put our trust fully in Him to guide us through these crazy times in which we live, that we might be a light to others.
    Blessings!

    1. Me too Ms. Sylvia. Knowing what my endgame is, and being so secure in God’s promises, makes it so much easier to get through these trying days. I may know know what tomorrow will bring, but I know what eternity holds for me on that day! 😀 Always such a blessing Ms. Sylvia. Thank you for all your kind support ma’am. God’s blessings.

    1. Amen! I love this thought Mr. Kenn. Everything we do each day, especially in front of our family and friends, both add to the legacy we leave behind and travel with us unto that day my friend. Very well said sir. Let us endeavor to build a Footprint for God through the legacy of our lives.

  2. Thank you for this post, J.D. Especially with what’s coming up in the next week, we as believers need to be equipped with His Word and locking arms with one another for God’s glory, regardless of the outcome. Blessings, friend!

    1. Absolutely Ms. Cathy. All this nonsense has been weighing on me for a while now. Adjusting my thinking, spending more time thinking about my eternal home than this mostly terrible place I journeying through, has made a difference. I haven’t rid myself of all the garbage yet, but working towards it. Am honored to #StandUpForChrist beside you young lady.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever really paid attention to “EGT” if anyone did mention it to me. Fascinating concept that I’m sure the Lord will point out to me as I think of my Christian walk. Thanks, J.D.

  4. What a wonderful post, sir! I think those of us who are blessed with the luxury of living in America have a tendency to replace purpose with comfort. In other words, we forget there IS an end game. We become so focused on the now… or what we want our personal now to look like in the future that we can abandon our EGT. Thank you for using this analogy to refocus my priorities and for reminding me what board I’m on.

    1. Amen sir! God needed to teach me this same lesson a few months ago. I wish I could tell you I never dive into the “cesspool of this world” any longer, but emotion sometimes gets the better of me and in I go! I’m so grateful God offers me His hand, a towel, and encourages me to remember to invite Him along so I can avoid those moments more often. 😀 God’s blessings sir.

  5. What a wonderful reminder that we can stand on His promises. I love those statistics. We can bank on the word of God.

    1. Thank you so much Ms. Evelyn. I’m glad you enjoyed the post ma’am. I’d heard some of those stats years ago, and don’t think I’ll ever understand the over 8,800 promises in there, but I know through faith that our God will keep every one of them.

  6. Great encouragement J.D.! God is always in control, always good, always with me. I particularly like the end game thought of becoming Christ-like, not being forgiven. The latter is ‘me’ centered, reward centered. Becoming Christ-like will take serious sacrifice. Another great post J.D. Thank you

    1. Amen Ms. Cathy. While I find myself asking for forgiveness daily, I keep praying that it’s for new things and not the same sins I’ve been doing for 25 years. There’s no growth without true repentance. Thank you for helping me grow my sweet friend.

  7. J.D., I’ve never heard the concept of EGT before, or played much chess. But I really like the analogy to the Christain life. This thinking goes along with something I like to say, “Jesus is the MVP in the game of life.”

    1. Amen Ms. Karen. He certainly showed us how the ‘game of life’ is to be played during His brief time here on earth didn’t He? I like that thought ma’am. For me, focusing on my home rather than this world deprioritizes what is happening in this moment as I realize this will not even show up as a blip on my chronological time in eternity. 😀 God’s blessings gentle friend.

  8. Very interesting! I’ve never heard of EGT but love chess. I believe I’ll try to integrate this more into my thinking process.

    Thanks for sharing this bit of wisdom!

    1. Absolutely Ms. Melinda. As a chess enthusiast too, I like to think of my EGT as sacrificing a pawn early in the game (what’s happening today in this world) so I can gain control of the center of the board early. Setting up the Queen’s Gambit if you will. My EGT is to survive this world with a strong faith that is producing wonderful, godly fruit to further the kingdom. It’s hard to do that when you’re mired in what’s happening in the world. EGT helps us rise above it. 😀 God’s blessings gentle friend.

  9. EGT and Standing on the Promises! What an encouraging post. I too fear for America. But God is not afraid. HE is in control and can see how all the strings of events will finally play out. And as you’ve heard before. I’ve read the end of the Book, and we win!

    1. Amen Ms. Jackie. While saddened to see the greatest nation in this world going through this, I’m not afraid my friend. Whatever happens in this world is of little consequence. My goal is to get through it intact and help to as many as possible be open the God’s urging in their lives. And yes ma’am! We Win! And that is our EGT. Victory is already promised, we just have to honor God with our journey to the inevitable end. 😀 God’s blessings gentle soul.

  10. I like to say often, “Hurry, Lord Jesus, come.” It is usually at a time when things look bleak. I suppose that would be my EGT of sorts!

    1. Absolutely my friend! We should want the words of Revelation 22:20 to ring true every day of our lives. I tell Christian folks all the time who have a fear of dying, “What are you afraid of? Losing greed, animas, hatred, hurt, pain, sorrow, sadness?” 🙂 Our EGT is certainly thinking on what is to come, not what is today.

  11. You’ve certainly given us some wonderful anchors to steady us in the storms of this season. Those unchanging promises and the certainties that we cling to will help us be the overcomers whose testimony the world will notice. These challenging times may tax our endurance, but the Lord will see us through all of it!

    1. So very kind. Thank you Ms. Dottie. It isn’t “Six on Saturday” quality, but I sure appreciate your kind words ma’am. You are so right, our Lord will see us through all this clamor; if we’ll just remember to look to Him and not this world.

  12. J. D., I made a note that says, “EGT” and put it on my desk. I Ieft room to add related verses. Thank you for stretching our perspective beyond current events to walking in victory with Jesus until we reach our true and eternal home. Keep writing!

  13. I love EGT! How clever of you to come up with this system, J.D. I agree that we need to look less at our sojournings on Earth, but more at our eternal home waiting for us with Jesus. I’m looking up and watching the clouds daily, asking, “Lord, will You come for us today?” With the current state of how the world is leaning, that day isn’t too far off. I’m ready!

    1. I’ll see you there Ms. Karen! I’m with you ma’am; the more we focus there, instead of here, the better off we’ll be. Thank you so much for your sweet comments ma’am. God’s blessings.

  14. Amen. What a great message! The more we show God’s love to others, the more His love will expand in the world. Pausing and praying before speaking will help in many situations. I am thankful God loves us and is with us always.

    1. Amen Ms. Melissa! “Putting brain in gear before placing mouth in motion” is something I definitely need to practice more. Each morning I ask God to guard my mouth; such a mighty and destructive weapon it can be isn’t it? Your comments bring Luke 6:45 to the forefront of my mind this day ma’am.

  15. Wonderful focus and counsel, JD:
    “EGT focuses on what awaits you rather than on what’s keeping you awake. …The more we Christians exhibit God’s peace, love, and patience in this world—especially when all around is falling apart—the more others will take note.”

    Amen. Eyes on the Prize, hand to the plow.

  16. As always, my friend, your overall message is full of inspiration and wisdom, but this sentence really sums it up: “The more we Christians exhibit God’s peace, love, and patience in this world—especially when all around is falling apart—the more others will take note.” I’ve always believed that our actions are the best witness for Jesus. People see whether or not Jesus us in our heart by how we demonstrate our love for others. Thanks for this important reminder during a time when we really need to be loving one another.

    1. Thank you Ms. Katherine. Thank you also for being that “shining light” for Christ we can look to for guidance and direction. Your wise words show us all the wonderful lessons God has so graciously brought into your life ma’am. Am ever-grateful to share this brief time with you here as we are preparing for eternity.

  17. I love the idea to maximize our EGT to focus beyond the election but on being the Christians that God has called us to be. Thank you also for sharing some of the key promises of God that we know He will fulfill regardless of the outcome of the elections. Good stuff.

    1. Amen Ms. Joanna. While we might each have our opinions and beliefs on how this election should go, none of it matters my friend. But God. That His will be done is what we need to focus on. If the United States of America ceases to exist one day, our individual faith must not falter sweet friend. Let us “keep our eyes on the prize.” 🙂

  18. Great article, J.D. I was all into chess for.a while years ago, and will never forget a comment made by an opponent I almost never beat. He said, “Gallagher, you’re a pretty good player, but you rarely beat me.” I assured him that I was already aware of that, and he continued. “The difference between us is that I always come to the board with a plan. You just react to what I do.” Then came the memorable point. He said, “A plan, Gallagher, even a bad plan, is better than no plan at all.”
    Your admonition to check our EGT could not have been more timely. Having an end game perspective at a time like this is vital, and you’ve helped to underscore the fact that we need to have a target in sight that will help us to know what we need to do regardless of what moves the adversary makes. Thanks!

    1. I see we had the same chess opponent my friend. 😀 You are so right, we need to know and keep our endgame at the forefront of our thoughts my friend. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments sir.

    1. So very true Ms. LuAnn. Too often, it seems some of us forget that. We should not be living our life for this world, with all its troubles and trials, but we should focus our thoughts and energy on preparing for our eternal home. Amen! And, like you, I’m praying I can bring a lot of family and friends along with me.

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