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Competitors Denying Self

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Competitors Denying Self

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

One thing that is often at the center of sports is ego.  In the midst of a self-centered culture, the Lord Jesus calls His followers to deny themselves and take up their cross daily.  What does that look like for the competitor who wants to follow Jesus?  It looks tough!  With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.  It's all about the P's:

Position - Will you submit to coach? Will you put team needs before your wants?
Playing Time - Will you allow your emotions to override your convictions?  Will you be patient? Will you support your teammates who are playing ahead of you?  Will you trust God to give you the ability to celebrate the success of others?
Play Calling - Will you trust your coach?  Are you willing to consider the big picture?
Perspective - My thoughts vs. the Lord's. Do you have an eternal perspective?
Perception - Are you swayed by the perception and opinions of others?  Will you defend your coaches and teammates?
Parents - Are the names of my coaches and teammates safe on my lips?  When your parents are negative about your coaches, teammates or team, will you join in or respond with positive?
Practice - Do you give 100%?  Your flesh wants to take it easy; will you override that?
Pleasure - Will you put your convictions ahead of your desires in the areas of sex, pornography, alcohol & other drugs, desire to be recognized, retaliating against wrong doing by opponent?
Pain - If it not an injury and just discomfort, you can overcome it.  Your flesh screams for comfort; will you shush it?

This is all exactly the opposite of what comes natural to us.  Denying self, crucifying flesh, losing ones life to follow Christ...this is not for the faint of heart!  Living a Christian life is not difficult; it is impossible!  Christian competitor, you cannot do this.  But God can do it in you and through you through His Holy Spirit.  That's good news.  This is one area that it is not as much about effort as it about surrender.  It's more about dying than trying.  Die to self!  Lose your life and gain His life.  Allow Christ to live in you and give you strength to be an expression of His Kingdom on your team.  It's not easy, but it is so worth it.

I do not trust in myself.
I do not boast in my abilities
or believe in my own strength.
I rely solely on the power of God.
I compete for the pleasure of
my Heavenly Father, the honor of Christ
and the reputation of the Holy Spirit.

~ Competitor's Creed






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