Think about a former or current coach you admire. Most likely, you wanted to work hard, give your all and do your best to help your team succeed because you had a great respect for your coach. And because of how you appreciated your coach’s determination to care not only for the talent of the team, but everyone’s wellbeing, it gave you that much more willingness to go above and beyond because you wanted to make them proud. You were obedient to attend every practice, be in the weight room gaining strength and making smart decisions off the field because you want to please your coach.
Obedience comes out of respect and admiration.
When we respect our coaches, we understand they have our best and the team’s best interest in mind. We trust that what they plan for practices and game plans are to give everyone the best opportunity to be at optimal performance and ensure that we’re working towards our team and individual goals.
In Scripture, the disciples respected and admired Jesus; from the very beginning, they saw something in Him that was different in the best way. They chose to follow Him, learn from Him and apply His teaching to their lives. Even when He began to speak in parables and talk of an upside-down Kingdom, the disciples trusted Jesus’s character enough to pay attention and take what He said to heart.
Sometimes, we can bristle at the word obedient because it makes us think of submission. We like to be our own leaders and make our own way in life. But Jesus says that to find our own lives we must lose them, and the way up is down. It’s living counter to what the world expects, but in the long run, it’s the best for our well-being.
Jesus cares about us and wants the best for us through a growing, intimate relationship with Him. He showed us how to live and laid His own life down for us on the cross. He is the ultimate example of obedience, bowing to the will of the Father in complete humility.
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
Jesus became obedient to the point of death, because of His love for God the Father and for us. Out of great love and respect for Him, we in turn obey what He says in His Word because not only is it beneficial for us, it brings us into closer relationship with Him.
When asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus answered:
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
When we’re hesitant to submit to the will of God and obey His commands, we’re really putting ourselves in position of a god of our own life, which goes nowhere. When we look to the ultimate command, it’s to love the LORD our God with everything we have. Setting aside our determination and desires, we offer our own hearts back to Him and want to live according to God’s ways, which are rooted in love.
We can be obedient to Jesus through the ways we read and live out His Word, how we treat others and living our lives with integrity, love and service. Our teammates will benefit, our coaches will benefit and we will benefit as the love of God transforms our hearts and grows our desires to obey and live out His mission to the people around us.
Trust Him. Do what He says. It’s that simple.
This quarter, we’re exploring what it means to Pursue Team. This month, our focus is on how to Draft the Team. Join us as we journey through this exploration and prepare to Commit to the Team next month.
One way to actively Pursue Team is through joining an FCA Huddle. The Huddle is one of FCA’s greatest teams. It is an important resource to help coaches and athletes grow in the essentials of their faith and become fully devoted followers of Christ. As a coach or athlete connects to an FCA Huddle, they will surround themselves with teammates who point to Jesus. Bring a friend and find a Huddle near you!
Want to learn more about pursuing team and surrounding yourself with the right spiritual teammates? Head to FCA in Action and read our July Pursue articles:
Anchor Article: Do the Work: Draft the Team
Article Two: Dedicated: Whatever the Cost
Article Three: Teachable: An Open Mind
*If you read this article and aren’t in relationship with Christ yet but would like to know more, we invite you to go through FCA’s The FOUR that explains how an everlasting and fulfilling life with God is possible.
About the Author:
Sarah Freymuth is the communications manager for FCA and writes content for blogs, articles, Bible reading plans and devotionals that share God's heart with coaches and athletes. She played softball for Concordia University Wisconsin, is in their Hall of Fame, and has led FCA Huddles since high school. Dark roast coffee makes her happy, as does telling stories about God and His people to the world. She'd love to speak to your Huddle or group; connect with her at email@example.com.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash