Athlete, Consider Game Plans and Childbirth
Galatians 4:19 (NIV)
My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…
Many of us understand game-planning, the construction of a strategy to move a team to competition success. It’s challenging and satisfying to build a good game plan. I absolutely love doing this!
What follows is crucial.
Many reading this may not know what it’s like to go through childbirth. I sure don’t. But I bet all of us have witnessed it or heard quite a bit. The birthing mom experiences severe pain, a self-inflicted trauma of the greatest degree, so that another might live and grow.
A longing for real arrival, full birth, sweet completion drives the selfless sacrifice. It’s the most beautiful agony one could ever witness.
The apostle Paul taps into both game-planning and childbirth in addressing his friends in Galatia. In many ways they may be people like us. Let’s find some parallels and applications.
THE GAME PLAN: God’s plan is to birth Himself IN us, not just set Christ among us (Romans 8:29, Colossians 1:27). And our role must be to embrace that plan, to support this mission by how we live.
The Galatians were struggling to win in life because they were trying to just add some Jesus to their lives instead of birthing Jesus in their lives, letting Him live in and through them.
THIS HURTS: The longing of Paul’s heart was to see Jesus being fully birthed in people, Christ lived out in human hearts, driving what people do and say, beautifully dominating their every expression. Many of the Galatians were stuck in the womb, not willing to be born again.
Setting their own definitions for righteousness (i.e., what’s good and acceptable) and living a self-justified life was getting them stuck in the birth canal. Paul was afraid that they would spiritually die.
And this longing was so strong in Paul that he felt like he was experiencing childbirth pain. He really hurt and groaned for their delivery.
TWO PRAYER RESPONSES:
Christ, form Yourself in me. Keep doing it. Being around me is not enough. Being “born again” is the key. Help me to agree with Your game plan and allow You to come into my life and take control. Your rightful, worthy Lordship and terrific, wise game plan must always come first.
God, I long to see You birthed in others, formed in them. Help me really hurt for “the unborn” — the lost, the blind, the bedraggled, the beat up, the burned out. All of them. I want to be a midwife with You, to participate in other’s new birth and live a life of multiplication. Factor me into your game plan for this world, please.
Reflect: Whose game plans in life are you most aware of, and how committed are you to them? Which of the two prayer responses above expresses your heart?
A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, I love Your Word. It penetrates, challenges and builds me up like nothing else. Thank you for birthing Christ in me and leaving me your Spirit until your work on earth is done.
Don’t let me live like a Galatian, please. I want to live like Paul, committed to your game plan that conforms me to Your Son and helps me hurt for the “unborn,” the “lost.” I want Jesus made much of in me. Accomplish this by Your Spirit. Amen.