Athlete, Fear the Lord
Deuteronomy 10:12,13 (ESV)
And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?
The phrase, “fear the Lord,” puzzled me at first: Why would God want me to be scared, to dread Him? However, fear in this sense (in Deuteronomy 10) doesn’t refer to danger, but refers to fearing God’s judgment and being in awe of His majesty.
The expression is a call to show God honor and reverence for whom He is by acting and thinking in ways which bring Him glory.
How do we honor God?
Deuteronomy 10:12,13 outlines the ways in which we can glorify God in our lives. The author of this book offers four ways we can demonstrate deference to God or “fear the Lord.”
Walk in Obedience
Walking in obedience can be difficult at times. Humans tend to think we know better than the people God positions to lead and influence us.
Choosing to be obedient to those in authority demonstrates trust in the wisdom of our heavenly Father, as well as trust in those supervising us. Following the advice and guidance of a coach on the field displays honor to God.
Prayer and worship are two ways to love God. Prayer is having a conversation with God. He wants to be our friend, our confidant and our advisor.
God wants us to turn to Him in the way we turn to our best friends. He wants us to trust and love Him in the manner we trust and love our parents, coaches or mentors. Team prayer cultivates God’s love among competitors.
Serve the Lord
A servant’s heart blossoms when he or she gives back and fulfills a need in the body of Christ.
Serving the Lord means going out of our way to give something (time, money or talent) to somebody who cannot repay us. This can be anything from ladling soup for the homeless to ushering at church. Helping the coach set up or put equipment away after practice can be a serving opportunity.
Observe the Lord’s Commands
God’s commands exist for the preservation of our well-being, for the preservation of a healthy relationship with Him and the people around us.
He understands our circumstances best, and in His infinite wisdom, He desires to protect us from things and choices which could harm us in ways we cannot foresee.
Speaking encouragement instead of negativity on the court exhibits observation of God’s decrees.
We need to examine our hearts to ensure that we fear the Lord in our words, deeds and thoughts. He wants us to have hearts like Jesus. This is what will honor God and bring Him glory.