Athlete, Be Sent and Supported
Galatians 1:1,2 (New International Version)
Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead— and all the brothers and sisters with me ...
How do you want to be known? As “ambitious” and “accomplished,” “connected” and “commended”? Or is “sent” and “supported” enough, and a better way to present yourself, a better way to operate?
Many elite athletes and coaches I know clearly choose the first path. They want to be known for their drive, their trophies and their impressive relationships. This is the way we default, the way we are taught to get jobs, advance careers, impress people. This plays out in more than just sports. It’s a world pandemic. I feel it in me.
The apostle Paul operated that way until he met Jesus on a dusty road outside Damascus. A bright Light got to him. He saw differently and he marched to a different drumbeat ever after. (Read Acts 9:1-30 to get the backstory.)
The opening lines of the book of Galatians detail Paul’s new way of operating: sent and supported. (FYI, Galatians is the first letter Paul wrote, earnestly delivered to a people group living in Turkey. This region was about twice the size of Ohio.)
Here’s what Paul meant by “sent” and “supported”:
SENT — Paul didn’t just go. He was sent. He carried a deeper sense of mission. He went as God led him. His drive came from above, not just from within.
Sent people change the world. Simply driven folks struggle. Eventually they get in their own way, break down, get taken out. Paul knew he was sent. That sustained him. How sent are you — on mission with God, for God?
SUPPORTED — Paul had the strong support of a spiritual family — God the Father, the Spirit of the living Christ, and many mature, spiritual brothers scattered about. He didn’t operate solo. He didn’t go rogue. He was not a Deep State operative.
Living in freedom is great, but living with a sense of belonging is crucial. And whom you belong to makes all the difference in the world. Paul had a terrific support system. How about you?
Reflect: How sent and supported, confident and accompanied, are you? Are you consistently connected to God‘s Word and others? How’s your local church family connection going? Any adjustments needed?
A prayer to consider: LORD God Almighty, I wanna live like Paul, confident and accompanied, sent and supported. By your Spirit, help me consistently connect with You and others as I ought. Whom I belong to makes all the difference in the world.
In Jesus name, Amen.