June 8, 2017

By Paul J Banta

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT)

What are your eyes looking toward? Are they watching more of this the old world and its messes—or more Jesus, ‘Our Bread of Life’?  Who is influencing your vision? You may need a new visual change that will affect your right thinking, the right using of the words that fly from your mouth and lastly the good actions you perform that are acceptable in the sight of the Lord. Don’t run around blind to God’s plan for your life in this game. If you do, you’ll fall into a pit and struggle to get out, and that’s exactly where the devil wants you to live.

For many years, my eyes could see only the back of the net. My entire concern, energy, and life were centered around one thing—getting my players to play so well that they would score more goals than their opponents and win matches. I was good at it, and my players got it, and together we scored a lot of goals. It was like what Mother Teresa said: “I’m good at something, and you’re good at something, and together we can do something great.” My teams and I had great times doing soccer together. We had a lot of fun, worked hard to win matches, shed tears of sadness and joy, and loved each other through the common bond of soccer. We sacrificed for each other, and most of the time we had great success. The one huge problem was that I did none of this for Christ’s honor or His name. I did it for my players and myself so that we could look good for each other, the school, friends, and family members.

My commitment had great intentions—the rewards of being successful for the game itself. However, I had more faith in my players than in God. I’m sorry to say it, but my faith in God was quite absent. I was deceived by my goals of achieving success for everyone but Christ my Lord, Savior, and King. I didn’t see that my passion for soccer could work along with a passion for Christ. Had I coached this way, I would have been on the correct course for my players’ lives and my life. But I chose the wrong path, so I didn’t impact players spiritually. I was in a spiritual no-growth pattern. Don’t do this every.

What’s your next move?