January 7, 2019

By Paul J. Banta

Psalm 144:1-11 says, Praise the Lord, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.  He makes the nations submit to me. O Lord, what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them? For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow. Open the heavens, Lord, and come down. Touch the mountains so they billow smoke. Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies! Shoot your arrows and confuse them! Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. I will sing a new song to you, O God! I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp. For you grant victory to kings! You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword. Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies.” – NLT 
I have a coaching friend of mine who called me up to ask a question. He coaches a men’s church team. He mentioned to me he was faced with the fact that he doesn’t like losing and wanted me to share how I felt. “Who does, I shared with him.” I went on to say to him, “We’re not born to lose, and we as Christian Coaches were born and selected to do our very best and be significant for Christ, including winning games and all that comes from applying God’s words to your players.” What a mouthful! The Holy Spirit just had His way, and the words pour out on this person. I went on and said, “God will never fail you if you breathe in His Words, understand what He wants from you and develop a deeper relationship with Him so your life that moves forward and upward and you can help your players do the same.  We become winners no matter what the outcome of the score.”

Do you have tactical plans or do you coach just thinking that you’ll win because you call yourself a Christ Following Coach? Are you preparing to pursue biblical principles that God sets before you in the Bible using them with your players? You’ll never experience God in powerful ways by just acquiring Bible knowledge and not apply it in practical ways. Bible knowledge in your training sessions, team meetings, and matches will yield better results. If you do not use this information, it’s just an exercise in spiritual aerobics generating little results that change players and win matches. The more you practice fruit bearing you will begin to realize where you’re supposed to go forward in this game for the Lord.

When reading about King David in the Bible, we see a significant warrior and leader. His preparation training ground was his job as a shepherd in the open fields and often a hostile environment. When bears and lions sought to take his sheep, he fought them, killed them and won. This became his early preparation for future battles he would experience. Goliath was the next, real competition amongst a discerning audience, to reveal how well David’s training had prepared him to take control of what he faced. David permanently took out Goliath from the battle and down he went, the so-called stopper. God allowed David to go through the pressure of these fights because he was a warrior for the Lord.

In our sport, you discover how well you will handle pressure from the competition (the battle), and the high running demands needed by your players during a 90-minute match.  You can practice all you want with your team, but you’ll never know how they’ll perform until they enter the game, the test you’ve prepared them for with pressure the face from the opposition. Today, why not ask God to give you the wisdom, grace, and courage to step onto the battlefield and coach the game and the Game of Life like you’ve never done before.

What’s your next move?