October 1, 2018

By Paul J. Banta

Luke 10:25-28 says, “‘One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking Him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”  The man answered, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!’” – NLT

A lot us out there in the game have been taught to think living an obedient life of faith means putting our mind and your life in sort of a neutral mode and letting God direct you wherever He wants as if you are a robot. If we as coaches let our players total believe that when they hit the deck for a match that it okay to float around the field and hope things good happen the team would not function and match success could not be going happen and that’s not what our life on this earth is not at all about. You’ve got to engage your brain with God and live out the kind of life He has for you to live. So where should we get God’s commands for our lives? We may not have angels showing up to guide us but we do have hundreds and hundreds of pages of God’s Word. To live a life of obedience we need to get to know what God has said to us.

Jesus talked about this in Matthew 7:24, “So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock.” We have God’s Word to help us live out a relationship with Him. It’s not a boring book of directions but holy words that provide us with hope helping us live out each day with the right instructions. It is God’s love letter to us, a Father’s letter of instruction to show us how to live the kind of life He wants to give us.  When reading God’s Word, pray like Psalm 119:34 says, “Give me insight so I can do what you tell me – my whole life one long, obedient response”. Be able to move forward like Psalm 119:33 says, “Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord. As long as I live I’ll wholeheartedly obey.”

God is smiling every time we obey Him wholeheartedly. That means doing whatever God asks without reservation or hesitation. You don’t procrastinate and say, “I’ll pray about it.” You do it without delay. Every coach or team mate knows that delayed obedience is really disobedience. God doesn’t owe you an explanation or reason for everything He asks you to do. Understanding can wait, but obedience can’t. Instant obedience will teach us more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions. In fact, you will never understand some commands until you obey them first. Obedience unlocks understanding. Often, we try to offer God partial obedience. We want to pick and choose the commands we obey. We make a list of the commands we like and obey those while ignoring the ones we think are unreasonable, difficult, expensive, or unpopular. I’ll read my Bible but won’t forgive my team mate who hurt me. Yet partial obedience is disobedience.

James 2:24 speaks to Christians and it say, “We please God by what we do and not only by what we believe.” The Bible is very clear in that you can’t earn your salvation. It comes only by God grace, what Jesus did for us on the cross and not our efforts. But as a coach who represents God you can bring pleasure to your heavenly Father through obedience.  Any act of obedience is also an act of worship and your growing faith in Jesus Christ. Why is obedience so pleasing to God? Because it proves you really love Him. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”

James 2:17-18 say, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds”.

What’s your next move?