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courtesy of pam s flickr.com

When my oldest daughter was in middle school, she informed me that she wanted to play soccer. Not competitive soccer, just local rec department stuff. For some of you, this is not so unusual. But both of my girls are ……. well …..girly girls. Neither of them ever played any kind of organized sport. Dance, yes; sports, no. I was a little taken aback, but whatever……

So I went to the parents’ meeting that was held at the gym. When I got there, the organizers asked all of the parents to take a seat in the bleachers. Then they made some announcements: first, this would be a mixed gender league, boys and girls; second, they had more kids sign up than they had available coaches. Therefore, they needed some of the parents to volunteer to coach. They divided us into teams and instructed us to decide who was going to help coach.

When my team assembled, I noticed that I was the only male in the group…….. Yeah, you see right where this conversation was headed. All the moms stared at me and I stared back. “Wait a minute. You want me to coach these guys? I’ve never played soccer in my life! I don’t even know the rules!”

Really…….. do you think that mattered?

I became a soccer coach that day. After the meeting, I went to the local sports store and found a book with the official rules. None of it made much sense. The only rules I understood were that you kick the ball and you can’t use your hands.

I was fortunate though; I was given some excellent players. Several of the guys on my team were quite knowledgeable and actually coached me. However, I was their leader. And I decided, win or lose, every player would be on the field at least one quarter in every game. When I informed my team, some of the players groaned. Too bad; I knew from experience what it felt like to sit on the sidelines and watch.

As we played through the season, I was amazed at how talented these kids were. And to their credit, they rarely complained when I substituted a less gifted player. And you know what, we won every game but one.

Since that season I’ve never coached again. I decided to retire while I was at the top of my game…………….. right.

1 John 5:3-5 – NIV

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

When it comes to real success, real triumph, real victory, no one wins without Jesus. The goal in soccer is to score points; the goal in life is to overcome the world. In this context, the world is –

“worldly affairs; the aggregate of things earthly; the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments, riches, advantages, pleasures, etc., which, although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ” (Strong’s Concordance)

There are two really encouraging things about these verses:

  1. because you’re a child of God, you will succeed in defeating Satan and his negative influences in your life
  2. because of your faith in Jesus, it’s not an impossible task

The mug is raised – Here’s to winning as you defeat and overcome the evil in your world today!

All verse quotes courtesy of biblegateway.com