June 4, 2018

By Paul Banta

Colossians 1:9-12 says, “Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to His will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making Him proud of you as you work hard in His orchard.  As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives.  It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that He has for us.” The Message

In our success or failure in this game of soccer, God wants us to be content working in this game by trusting Him alone whatever circumstances we find ourselves.  He also wants to guide us in the right direction, so we can sink our teeth into what we were doing in this game having success.  He wants to empower us through His Spirit, this beautiful gift helping us coach this sport at a higher level to be successful for our players and be victorious for our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. Knowing how to serve God through this great game of soccer provides our Father with a sense of satisfaction about how we’re coaching under His guidance.  We often speak about the ‘beautiful game’ as coaches or a well-played match.  I can assure you that God wants that for your player through your efforts. He’s training you to be committed to staying in this game for the purpose He designed you for so you will develop and disciple players for Him.  The Lord will show you how you’ll be encouraged to do this best.

Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.  Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health and your very bones will vibrate with life!” – The Message

These words in Proverbs remind us that when we trust the Father, we become dependent on Him and not our own decisions.  When we listen to Him, He puts you on that path designed for you and then heads you in the right direction.  We must let Him accomplish His way in our lives and not set up those barriers stopping His work.  Of course, that’s easier said than done, but His promises always provide you with the right directions.  I found out over the years through some of those unpredictable challenges, testing, trials, and tribulations that it is more comfortable to be riding shotgun than to be doing all the driving on my own.  I finally realized this several years ago when through the power of the Holy Spirit and my real Father (My Heavenly Dad) wanted to guide me and bring me to those right places He planned for me to serve and disciple others. All can happen to you if you’re not on this road. He’s waiting patiently.

There’s no particular button to push expecting our new life in Christ to change us how we think to get our answers right away.   As our lives change with Him in control, it becomes easier to go to your Father Provider than to use your wisdom.  Test Him in all things and wait upon Him for answers rather than make the wrong move forward by yourself.  He will do it all if you realize this is why you accepted His Son in the first place.

As coaches, we expect our players to beat their bodies in such a way to be winners in the matches they play.  Start viewing yourself as a person in need of understanding, repair and a person who will continuously be practicing to be more like Jesus.  You may have to beat your body and sacrifice more.  Start to make your best efforts to imitate the life of your Savior wants for you.  Often hard to accomplish, because of our old ideas and ways of doing things all by ourselves block us.  We tend to beat ourselves up to get the job done, the devil’s great deception.  Jesus came because God wanted us to have an example of a person to be more like Him and to do life on this earth correct.  You’re empowered by His Holy Spirit to make it happen while we are imitating Jesus as much as possible.

What’s your next move?