Presence Over Performance
By Jolee Paden
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” - Matthew 6:33
As a cross country runner, my coach would say, “Compete and time will take care of itself.” He knew that if we focused our mind and energy on the time, anxiety would overcome our ability to compete well. There are multiple factors that could dictate our time, and many of them could lie out of our control. We needed to focus on what we could do to contribute to our best effort and trust the training we had put in all season.
Similarly, we must focus on God’s presence, and performance will take care of itself.
We often focus on our performance and then add on God’s presence when it is convenient. We say a prayer before we compete or point to Him when something goes well, but God wants us to seek first HIS kingdom. For our best performance, we must fixate on his presence at all times knowing that when we are competing for him, the performance will take care of itself.
When God is our Audience of One, his opinion is the only one that matters. In this heart, we have the freedom to compete with excellence and freedom rather than fear.
Colossians 3:2-4 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” We have the privilege to be hidden in the life of Christ when we compete in the glory of his presence.
- In the time before your biggest competitions, where is your focus? Your performance or God's presence?
- What are some of God's promises that you can meditate as you prepare your mind for competition?
- How can you compete with God at the forefront of your mind rather than an afterthought or add-on?
Hebrews 12:1-3; Colossians 3:17; Psalm 16:11