How To Be "All In" with Jesus
written by Lindsey Lawson @email@example.com and Jim Hamilton firstname.lastname@example.org
In the post, "What Does Navy SEALs Training Have to Do with FCA? Read this Post," we shared about Wyoming FCA staffs' incredible experience with Western Division Leadership Boost in 2018 with Navy SEAL training. If you haven't read it already, feel free to do so now!
Since that time of drills in sand and water and challenge courses in some wilderness terrain, I have shared in several speaking engagements about my personal reflections and growth from that experience in relation to the practice of godliness.
I would like to use this post as a companion devotional for anyone else, especially coaches, who would like to dive all into their relationship with Jesus and impact others through sports and their communities.
So let's jump in to this devotional....
1) What is Godliness?
2) Why Should we Practice Godliness?
3) How do we practice Godliness?
What is Godliness?
Godliness is practicing the discipline or exercise of focusing upon God. However, we cannot simply become devoted to God by changing our conduct or modifying our behaviors to align with what we consider "godly." Indeed, if we try to develop Christian character without first knowing Him and walking with Him we can never achieve it or please God.
Godliness takes time and it takes lots of effort.
Consider Enoch as an early example of godliness. He was described as "one who pleases God" in Genesis and later was inducted into Hebrew's "Faith's Hall of Fame." But, why?
Here are two statements that answer that: Enoch walked with God and Enoch pleased God. Basically, Enoch's life was centered in God and on God. As a result, God was Enoch's focal point and the pole star of his very existence.
Or, in other words, Enoch was completely and fully devoted to God. This, then, sums up godliness - being completely devoted to God, in fear of God, love of God and desire for God. And just like Enoch, it begins not with actions but with attitude.
So, what is your attitude towards God?
Is Jesus your focal point, the pole star of your existence?
Why Should We Practice Godliness?
Every member of God's kingdom is a part of God's ministry. While some of us are not pastors of a church or paid staff for an organization, this means we are all still ministers. And It is Jesus who calls US to share His good news.
However, keep in mind -
God calls us to be ministers not because He cannot do it with us. After all, HE IS GOD! Instead, He calls us to be a part of His ministry because He LOVES us. He wants us to be transformed by those experiences and opportunities to practice godliness and progress in our Christian walk with Him.
In fact, God's desire for us to fear, love, and know Him is so great that He gives us the very tools we need to develop godliness in our lives. We do not need special equipment, titles, or training. Everything we need, God gives us through His Son, His Spirit, and His Word.
That is why we are without any excuse.
Is there anything that keeps you from pursuing God?
What is your attitude about being in God's ministry?
How Do We Practice Godliness?
Read 1 Timothy 4(ESV)
(1 Timothy 4:14). Paul writes using the Greek phrase en toutois isthi, which literally means "be in" them. Some translations represent this Greek phrase with the word "immerse." Also, the word Immersion in Greek means Baptizo or DUNKED! Basically, Paul wanted to emphasize and encourage Timothy in those verses to immerse himself in Jesus and the Christian life.
So, as you can imagine, Wyoming staffs' experiences on the beach and ocean with Navy SEALs training was the perfect example of being ALL IN. In fact, we were all immersed in the training because we had no choice. We were either all in or completely out. Our Teams were depending on us to not give up and give it our all.
In the same way, our walk with Jesus is not just a singular, individual experience. We are a part of God's family, ministry - His Team. When we decide to go all in with our devotion to God, we will transform our lives and impact others around us in their relationship with God.
GO ALL IN.
The definition of practice is "prássō – properly, the active process in performing (accomplishing) a deed."
Many people do not experience spiritual transformation because they do not put in the effort. If you read 1 Timothy 4, you see that Timothy was encouraged to give it his all, to put forth a maximum effort. In return, his progress would be evident to all.
Likewise, our Navy SEALs Trainers challenged us to keep trying our best. They called it the 40% rule. This rule says that just when you thought you have given your all, you have only given 40%. Instead, our potential remains so much more. It simply requires diligence, perseverance, and more effort.
Most importantly, we learn from our failures and grow from our lessons. Best of all, Jesus will be with us every step of the way. Over time, godliness becomes a habit and a second nature.
That is also why sports play such an important role in developing our faith and relationship with Jesus. Training as an athlete and participating in competitions serve as real life examples of applying that same maximum effort required in our practice of godliness.
EMBRACE THE SUCK.
Progress or prokopḗ (from 4253 /pró, "in front of" and 2875 /kóptō, "cut, chop down") –
properly, advance (progress) – literally, "advancement by chopping down whatever
impedes progress"; furtherance.
For the believer, this means going forward in sanctification, cutting through obstacles
by the Lord's power.
People will notice this kind of progress. They will see Jesus, they will see that you
desire godliness and devote yourself to God.
1 Timothy 5:24,25 says: "The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to
judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous,
and even those that are not cannot remain hidden."
So, conspicuous means standing out so much you become clearly visible. Often, progress is not evident because we do not give ourselves entirely to the pursuit of God and His will. We become weak and passive - something Jesus warned His followers about in his Parable of The Talents.
In the end, Godliness involves continually shifting our attitude and perspective towards God, keeping immersed in the Call, and lifting up other believers.
Where do you see progress in your Christian Life?
What are some obstacles you face as you practice godliness?
KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
There you have it.
Immerse, Practice, and Progress. Devotion to God takes time to transform into a habit and second nature, but when you give yourself wholly to the practice of fearing Him, loving Him, and knowing Him - that is when the real Christian adventure begins....
Thank you for reading!
Make sure to watch our video from our time at Western Division Leadership boost 2018!
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Over the course of 30 plus years, Wyoming Fellowship of Christian Athletes has strengthened and grown to reach every corner of our square state, under Jim Hamilton and his dedicated staff and then, later under Ernie Mecca and his committed team.
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