June 11, 2018

By Paul Banta

Ephesians 3:14-21 says, “My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth.  I ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in.  And I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth!  Test its length!  Plumb the depths!  Rise to the heights!  Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.  God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!  He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.” The Message

As Soccer Coaches, the major problem we face is how to do my life and the game the way God wants. The answer I found was that I don’t do my life.  He does it for me.  That does not mean I don’t plan my practices or prepare for the battle of matches. It does means I acknowledge I don’t know about everything, and I should not lean on just what I know but lean on the Lord’s ways and His perception of how I’m to coach and do life.  I make planned choices and handle my circumstance by His empowering directions and sticking with as many biblical principles vs. human-made principles that I know.  I listen to the Lord, I read, I meditate, I seek advice and listen to it, and I eventually get my next steps.  Remember that practice may not make you perfect, but it moves you to a higher level of thinking, performing and ultimately quality results.  I found out that I have to merely include God in all of what I think and practice.  It takes an extra daily effort to get Him involved, but the bottom line is that He appreciates this effort and He will not fail me.  He makes no mistakes, and He wants and desires the lead. Listen and follow because a lot of good players are going to be created.

Just as our faith is a day by day process in the development from birth into the Kingdom of God on this earth and one day into the Kingdom of Heaven, so it should be with our special relationship with the Holy Spirit living on this earth.  Peter, one of Christ’s apostles, found that they only way he could do his calling were by being empowered by the Holy Spirit.  The apostle Paul did as well, and it’s all available for us.  Let’s get on with this most important game because He’s ready to open the door wider than ever before for you.

Luke 11:9-13 says, “Here’s what I’m saying: Ask and you’ll get; Seek and you’ll find; Knock and the door will open. “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as we are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask Him?”  The Message

Think about it. Christ said, “He’d never leave or forsake us.”  Our Father in heaven provides His very Spirit to change our ways of thinking, asking and expecting.  Life on this earth and the game we coach doesn’t get any better.  God places the Holy Spirit inside you to show you what He wants you to perceive and hear Him and how you are to respond to His spiritual counseling.  You learn how to let Him walk alongside you, advising you how He wants you to live and disciple/coach others in this game of soccer.  He has planned out our journey and knows every move we’re to be making, so the best thing, as I’ve learned is to let Him be that driving force in my life and I keep my foot off the brake.  It’s an important concept to understand and to live out. God never intended for us to figure out the moves we make without Him.  Trust Him for this because He has more moves than the multi-million-dollar player.

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 heath and your very bones will vibrate with life!  The Message

What’s your next move?