May 13, 2019

By Paul J Banta

1 John 4:1-6 says, “My dear friends don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world. Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought! My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. These people belong to the Christ-denying world. They talk the world’s language and the world eats it up. But we come from God and belong to God. Anyone who knows God understands us and listens. The person who has nothing to do with God will, of course, not listen to us. This is another test for telling the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of deception.” – The Message

As coaches, we teach players to go to battle and not give up or give in during the 90 minutes of match time. The Lord expects the same with our daily walk with Him. We were born into a battle, and we make every effort to win those small or large battles we face. Every game we have our players perform is a different battle, and you knew they were coming and had to prepare for defending your position to win.  Before you were born God’s plan for you was to, and you can’t escape the battle between God and the devil or good and evil, be involved and go through the annoyances. We are surrounded by naysayers who would like us to believe otherwise this is not so, but they are wrong, and God is right. Listen to what Paul shared with the church in Corinth.

“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT)

Who do you believe, trust and put our hope?  Your players want to discover trusting you and put their confidence into what you say will bring something to the table for them to be champions. It boils down to this. Our Father God and His Son Jesus Christ are far superior in the battles we face, on and off the field, then we are, and the devil who is our enemy is not on equal playing ground with us. We have the strength of God’s Holy Spirit living within us to be victors. One day God will wipe the devil off the earth, but until then, God always comes alongside us working in harmony with us, so we operate on the right side and accomplish much.

If we are providing the right type of repetitious training for players, they’ll make the right choices. They see the path they need to battle on the field. As we make those right choices and live for God being the person, He designed for us to be no one can convince us otherwise that we are not going to be successful. There are days that we do not train our player’s right to prepare to win matches. Maybe you’re not developing your players to battle correctly and the unfortunate outcome your efforts and theirs is bad news for your team. You and your players were born for a contest an opposition on and off the playing field, so prepare appropriately. But there’s always great news, and that is you were born to win the battle.

1 John 4:4b says, “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Do you think the devil isn’t afraid of you?  Not hardly, but he is scared of who is in you and the very person who you represent regardless of your level of spiritual maturity. He trembles at the very name of God our Father and His Son Jesus. You can’t battle alone on and off the field. God gave us His Son, and His very own Holy Spirit is empowering you to get the job concluded. We don’t have to listen to negative people, false coaches, and educators who try to steer you away from God’s path. The devil and his rubbish would like to move you backward living in fear.  We do not have to be afraid of the battles or the battle opponents we face. You’re on the winning side on this earth. Live out the game correctly and regardless of what others say for you were born to win battles.

What’s your next move?