May 21, 2018

By Paul Banta

Scripture: Philippians 4:10-14 says, “I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me.  Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me.  You just had no chance to show it.  Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally.  I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances.  I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little.  I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.  Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.  I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.”  The Message

It’s not always that simple to understand the Holy Spirit’s working to empower us, being very concerned in all our circumstances, especially if we don’t want to seek the Father’s will for our lives with any consistency.  We empower our players, and somehow, they let us (I guess they think we are somewhat in control of them to get them playing the game better).  So, when it comes time for us to be empowered by God and His heavenly planned for us as coaches we often struggle.  We become impatient making our next moves by our power without asking God for help.  I bet you’ve been there and done that several times!

What we go through daily should not be about our timing but God’s schedule for us, which is perfect when ours is not.  If we want He will come through for us and believe me, He’ll be using us in this great game of soccer to purpose us and move others to a higher level of thinking, speaking and playing. When we allow God in to take over our lives, big things happen, and we actually see them and their benefits. As coaches, we must be resolved to strive to prove we can coach for Christ. There’s always someone out there no matter how hard we work, still isn’t satisfied with our efforts.

If we focus on pleasing the world, this often leaves us burned out trying to please the world rather than God. We can go out there faking that the world’s more important than our spiritual life, but until you understand you are 100% serving Christ in the job He gives you, you’ll stumble along believing that your relationship with God is performance-based rather than faith-based. Our recognition in this game with God is not based on your performance but based on Christ working within you. Jesus loves you 100% unconditionally, and He plans to always commit to operating with you.   The most significant part will be that He doesn’t like you or condemn you while He’s working with you.  His loves go deeper with His plans for you than could ever imagine.  As coaches in this game, our task is not always easy, and I can tell you that He understands your rough edges, your temperament, your pride and your failings, your struggles, and so much more. You just can’t imagine how great His character is allowing you to be forgiven day after day, year after year.

John 14:12 says, “Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.” The Message

What’s your next move?