During last year’s Super Bowl, I heard various preachers use the big game as an analogy for church. For instance, in football, the players huddle up to organize their game plan and then break out to execute it with each player charged with specific responsibilities designed to help progress their team’s position on the field. By advancing on the field, they progress their position in the game, to eventually advance their overall position in the league.
Likewise, the church huddles up on a regular basis with Christ in order to break out in a purposeful direction in the world – with each believer playing specific roles in progressing the Kingdom of God. To do so most effectively however, requires the following intentionality from each of us:
Get Out: Sometimes simply getting out into the world can be the hardest part to our calling. For we enjoy the comforts of our home, friends and family, and as a result, the harshness of the world can be intimating. However, this is where our jobs are very useful for the Kingdom, for what we do for a living forces us to get out of our comfort zones and into the world with others (Matthew 10:16). The question is, how do we use our hours on the job? Do we simply blend in, counting down to quitting time so we can rush back to our safety zones, or do we courageously seek to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way in order to promote the love of Christ through all we do and say?
Give Up: A former NFL coach once stated he knew his team was going to win the Super Bowl when one of his players forfeited running a certain play that would have ensured him a sizable monetary bonus in order to run a play that instead promoted the team’s scoring position. In other words, the player was giving up self interest for the team’s greater interest (Acts 20:35). Similarly, what are we willing to give up in order to promote the gospel and impact others? We all have been given specific time, talent and treasure – the question is, how much are we willing to give to God and for His Kingdom over our own?
Go Down: Mountain top experiences are great, but they aren’t permanent. Rather, they are there to help us meet the daily needs in the valley. For in the valley is where the struggles, stresses and strains reside, and we are the vessels God desires to use to meet those needs. The question is, are we available and trust He goes with us every step of the way (Deuteronomy 31:8)?
Application: “Break Out!” – Matthew 5:16
Through Christ we are set free from sin, strongholds and setbacks, and although this freedom is to be enjoyed, it is not meant for us to hoard all to ourselves. Rather, we are set free in order to impact others with the hope of the Kingdom – to help others receive the good news Christ offers so that they may too receive the blessings only He can provide. We are players on God’s Kingdom team – playing not for ourselves, but for His greater good.