Get Your Game Face On
“Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” Philippians 2:12
I was blessed to be able to baptize my daughter in our church a couple of years ago, and since that time I have paid close attention to her spiritual walk. I am a coach, and am used to observing commitment in sports being followed by an intense and disciplined approach to attaining goals. A side effect of my chosen profession is that I tend to view most things in life through the grid of a coach. Spiritual disciplines are no different to me than some others. No excuses! Get to it!
However, she is still in elementary school, so the intensity I am familiar with in coaching has looked different in her than what I anticipated. I sat with her recently and asked her about her perspective on her faith decision. We chatted a while about what her decision to accept Christ as her Lord and Savior meant, and what she confessed in her baptism. She agreed that she needed to take on some of the responsibilities implied in her commitment to Jesus. I agreed that I needed to see her through different eyes. We both grew spiritually that day.
This conversation with her caused me to think about my own spiritual disciplines. As athletes, we have either said this or heard this at one time or another: “Get your game face on!” We, as coaches and athletes, know what that means. Get ready to compete! Be focused on what we came to accomplish! Focus on the prize-victory! Our Christian walk is no different. We have to have intensity about our focus, our purpose. We also have to practice to win the race for Christ, just as we must practice to win at our chosen sports.
The Apostle Paul clearly thought like an athlete at times. He understood that it takes commitment and discipline to be competitive. In Hebrews, he implies that performing at a high level for extended periods of time and then seeking to win the competition has positive value. God wants us to practice our faith. Practice is an excellent environment to become a better athlete, but we all know that our greatest gains in skill and developing the competitive edge do not come on the practice field. What better place to develop our game skills than in the actual games? That’s where it matters most.
So, for the Christian, where is our “game” played? It is as we are on the court, in the classroom, the hallways, or sitting in the cafeteria with our peers. Do they know Jesus? Do they want to because of their association with us? The game is our daily witness, and the score is whether we bring honor to the Lord. The way we increase our score is to prepare for our true game by practicing spiritual disciplines.
Today, commit to making Jesus the center of your focus. Think about Him; learn something new about Him; ask yourself if you are TRULY living FOR Him. Evaluate how you live. Are you living the way Paul describes the Christian walk? Practice hard!
Then…GET YOUR GAME FACE ON!
- How can we practice our faith day to day? What does this imply about the way we use our time and energy?
- What disciplines do we need to develop in sports to be successful? What disciplines do we need to develop spiritually?
- What does Paul mean by “work hard”? What are some ways we can obey God?
- Philippians 2:12
- Philippians 2:14-15
- Philippians 3:12
- 1 Corinthians 9:24
Lord, help me to faithfully prepare for the opportunities to witness for Your glory. Let me always be of the same mind as Paul and compete to win the prize, which is a closer walk with You and to be an instrument to help bring others into Your kingdom.