“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
-2 Timothy 1:7
It’s all about power these days. We have Power Bars, Powerade®, Power Play, Power Training and Power Ratings. The world of sports is addicted to power. Bigger, faster and stronger is the ticket.
Strength training for any athlete is essential—you need to be an athlete of power. We know what an athlete of power looks like physically, but do we know what an athlete of power looks like spiritually? God wants us to be an athlete or coach of spiritual P.O.W.E.R. This is not power that the world offers, but the kind of power that only comes from God. What kind of athlete do you want to be? It’s time to P.O.W.E.R. up.
P - Pursue Purity
Athletes must pursue purity in all things. Sexual purity is essential, because purity paves the way to intimacy in all relationships. The purity game plan is explained in Psalm 119:10: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” Purity becomes a lifestyle when you hide God’s Word in your heart.
The second greatest decision you can make (after surrendering your life to Christ) is deciding to be an athlete of purity. In 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul warns us to, “flee from sexual immorality.” He was probably referring to Joseph in Genesis 39 when Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife. We need to “pull a Joseph” when there is sexual temptation. Run! Sprint! Flee!
Pursuing purity stretches beyond sexual purity, too, into having right actions, thoughts and motives in all areas of our lives. A life of purity is one that is marked with excellence. An Athlete of Power understands that there is spiritual power in purity.
O - Obey the Call
God places a call or a mission in each of us. The question is not whether you are called to do God’s work, but whether you will respond to the call God has on your life. He doesn’t try to hide His will from you or make it difficult. Your goal is to do what David writes in Psalm 27:4: “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life …” When you seek Him, He will reveal what you are made to do. Your gifts, talents and skills can and should be used to glorify him. Zig Ziglar nailed it when he said, “You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.” An Athlete of Power is willing to obey the call in his or her life.
W - Worship Daily
Get your spiritual workout in by learning when and how to engage Jesus Christ daily. Worshipping God is like breathing. It’s not just important; it’s mandatory! Seek God constantly. Pursue Him with everything you have. He will never disappoint you! Walk with Jesus daily by getting your face in the Word of God. An Athlete of Power realizes he or she can’t survive without worshipping God daily.
E – Engage Others
Proverbs 13:20 says, “The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” Find some good friends and do life together. Great friends are like rare, expensive diamonds—hard to find. But once you do find them you should value them greatly! Surround yourself with people who want the best for you. Developing these significant relationships doesn’t come easy. It’s hard work. Proverbs 18:1 says, “One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound judgment.” Don’t pull away and isolate yourself. An Athlete of Power surrounds himself or herself with the right people, and those relationships will determine his or her direction in life and the quality of their life.
R – Reject Apathy
Everything in your body says “Do Nothing.” Don’t take the easy way out. An apathetic spirit is the “I don’t care” attitude. We need to care. Athletes of Power approach life as if it is an adventure, not a chore or duty. Every moment counts. So, ask the Lord for the courage to be bold and maximize every moment. Don’t stay on the sidelines of life. Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” Be bold as a lion and lead courageously. Courage is moving forward while you have fear, not when fear is absent.
Being an Athlete of Power means doing the right thing. Ask the Lord to give you the wisdom to know what’s right and the courage to do what’s right even when it’s hard. Every time you step up, God will show up. Lead and serve with courage! Don’t pull away. An Athlete of Power rejects the apathetic spirit and leans into the power of Jesus within them.
So, what kind of athlete do you want to be? The choice is yours. Choose to be an Athlete of Power!
1. Why is our sports culture consumed with power? Can you give an example?
2. Which of the five principles listed above is the most challenging for you? What are the circumstances in your life that is causing it to be difficult?
3. How can God use these principles to help you grow spiritually?
4. How can you become an athlete of spiritual power? What is one thing you can start doing and one thing you can stop doing?
1 Thessalonians 2:8
“Lord God in Heaven, I want to be an athlete of power. Today, I ask for spiritual power. May my life be marked with purity, a strong calling, a fresh encounter with You daily, great friends and a spirit of courage. I understand this power comes from You alone, but I don’t want to ask for just power. Lord, I want to pursue You and seek Your face. I desire to know You and not just ask something from You. Hear my heart Lord. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”