"When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua approached Him and asked, 'Are You for us or for our enemies?' 'Neither,' He replied. 'I have now come as commander of the Lord’s army.'" -Joshua 5:13-14
After playing in and coaching thousands of games, I have found that I struggle with one main issue: Whose team is God on—my team or the other team? How can God pick sides? If He does pick sides, how does He decide which side to be on? If there are Christians on both teams, then how can God be on both teams? These questions challenge us as athletes and coaches.
Let me be honest with you. When I compete, I want God to be solely on my team and not on the other team! However, when we have that mind-set, we have it all wrong. In the Bible, Joshua was the commander of Israel’s army and was preparing his troops for battle against Jericho when the commander of the Lord’s army appeared to him. When Joshua asked him whose side he was on, the commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Neither.”
Does this mean that God doesn’t take sides? Well, there is a bigger issue here. It’s not whether the Lord is on our team or their team; it’s whether or not we are on God’s team! When we compete, we need to first recognize that we are on Team Jesus Christ, not the other way around. It is human nature to want God to stand on our sideline. However, God wants us to be on His side only!
1. How can you apply the concept of being on God’s team (not God being on your team) the next time you compete or practice?
2. What impact could this make on your team if all of your teammates understood this concept?
3. Why is it so difficult for us to remember that God’s team is the only team that matters?
Extra Reading: Ephesians 5:1-10
Lord, help me to compete knowing that I am on Your team and to remember that it’s not about You being on my team. Give me the proper mind-set to play for You. Every time I step onto the field of competition, I will wear Your uniform.