I have often said that if we as Christians could ever really grasp what happened on the cross, it would rock our world and change everything. Our impact on those around us and the results of our lives would be drastically different.
Have you ever wondered why the turning point for any championship sports team is the coaching staff? The leadership provided by the coach does not change the physical limitations of the team, but they do change the mental limitations.
A great coach makes his team realize who they are and who they can be. When a coach is successful in doing this, the results are amazing. The players become more than members of the team, or someone who just wears the uniform … they become champions. They win.
The apostle Paul compared our Christian life to a sport. We all play, but the goal is to keep your eyes on what’s ahead and finish well. We all finish, but some finish well.
Billy Graham finished well. My dad finished well. If heaven is your only goal, then one could say that we all win, but I believe that when we receive Christ, and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in the deepest part of who we are, we get way more than just a ticket to heaven. I believe – because scripture teaches it – that we receive power.
In fact, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in us. Do we really grasp what that means? I don’t think we do.
Why do I think this? I don’t see much power, transformation, earth-quaking, mountain-moving, hell-shaking results from the majority that wear the team uniform. I don’t see much winning. This frustrates me.
As a matter of fact, it frustrated me to the point that I wanted a coach. If the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of me, then I don’t want to cross the finish line worn out, defeated, clinging to my ticket to heaven. I want to finish strong. I want to win.
That means I had to expand my thinking outside of denominational barriers and absorb truth. I turned to scripture and prayer and God has sent coaches into my life that have convinced me that I can access that power. I can win.
2 Corinthians 5:21 reads, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
I have two beautiful daughters. Katherine is 10, and Grace is 15. Both have chosen to follow Christ and are saved, but for kids today, life is tough.
Peer pressure today is ending lives. Suicide, death from that first time trying drugs, and having sex even before your body is fully matured … that’s what kids today wake up with every morning.
When my girls were saved, I explained to them exactly how God made them (spirit, soul, and body), and explained to them what happened when they surrendered their lives to Christ. I’m amazed that you rarely hear this taught in most churches, but it is foundational to understanding who we are.
They memorized 2 Corinthians 5:21 and now every morning before they go to school, I ask them, “Do you know who you are?” They reply out loud, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.”
The other night, Grace told me that since she has been declaring that out loud every morning, something has happened. She went on to tell me that when she is about to make a choice, no matter how big or small, something inside her lets her know which one is the right choice and which one is the wrong choice. She told me that making a wrong choice is now gut-wrenching.
So what happened? Rather than letting her behavior determine who she is, she is letting her identity determine her behavior. She is beginning to realize exactly who dwells in her spirit, and who she is because of it. Declaring it every morning makes her more and more aware.
There are only two times when we are not a threat to the enemy. There are only two times when we are not in the race – before we start (before we are a Christian) and after we cross the finish line (in Heaven).
What happens in between those two times is when we are in the game.
Run the race, don’t just wear the uniform. Make a difference. Win. Finish well.
By David Staton
David Staton is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.
Can You Handle It: Who Are YOU? was published April 2018 in SGNScoops Magazine
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