Athlete, Have What It Takes


Athlete, Have What It Takes

Morris Michalski

1 Timothy 3:16 (NASB)

Beyond question, great is the mystery of godliness…

Everyone who has ever done sport for very long wonders if he or she has what it takes to keep going, rising from simple participation to performance greatness. Getting to the highest level is the hope, the dream, the goal. And each step taken begs the question, “How far is possible?” (Can I go pro/get drafted/win a chip?) 

Questions like this gnaw at the life of an athlete or coach. And answers don’t come easy. It’s all a mystery longing to be revealed. 

The same is true spiritually, knowing if we have what it takes to be accepted by God. The Bible calls this status “godliness” (righteous, right standing before Him). Lots of rich, eternal benefits go with it (Proverbs 10:22, ESV). Making this eternal cut, a heavenly roster, is the quiet, big time goal for many. 

In order to ensure godliness status and a roster spot in heaven, many of us compare ourselves to others until we can find favorable odds in the matchups. 

But a problem remains. Those who play this game well are still left uncertain. They can’t control the scoreboard or the rules as much as they think. It lies in the hands of their gods who can’t or won’t tell them their status until it’s too late to make any needed adjustments. It all remains a nagging, awful mystery.

Those who don’t play the comparison game are left with two options. One is to give up on mystery and live for this life only. (That denies the possibility of more and flattens us to live with shallow, narrow, finite rules that offer no hope of more.) A life without mystery is a dull life. 

The other option is to live with another mystery in mind … the mystery that today’s Scripture suggests — the “mystery of godliness.” This mystery is one which has already been revealed … in Jesus Christ. 

When we accept His rule and reign in our lives, when we are found in Him, follow Him, we get what it takes and therefore have what it takes. He says so. And He doesn’t lie (See John 6:40; 1 John 5:12-13 and 2 Corinthians 1:20).

The mystery is the presence of a real but now invisible Person before us, living and active in us. He makes us godly, acceptable (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:13). His name is Jesus, the Son of the living God. His piety and purity empowers us. His righteousness applied to us guarantees our eternal inheritance and right standing before Almighty God. 

And the mystery is that the God of the Bible is unlike all others. He compassionately, consistently seeks, reveals, redeems. He’s committed to giving us what it takes. What a beautiful mystery! What a great God! No one works like Him. This is beyond all question!

Reflect: Are you living with a good, healthy amount of mystery in your life? Will you have what it takes when you stand before God in the end? Has “the mystery of godliness” been sweetly revealed to you? Are others seeing it (Jesus) in you, through you?

A prayer to consider: O Heavenly Father, thank You for putting such divine mystery into life and revealing it so well in Your Son, by Your Spirit, through Your Word. You are an amazing coach and terrific storyteller. You have what it takes. I don’t. Check that, I do through You! Hallelujah!

Don’t let me flatten my life by ignoring the mysteries You’ve set before me and  by making up my own safe, prideful rules. Bench me if I keep playing the comparison game. I’ll never win if I play that way. Godliness only comes from You, so keep me advancing in the godliness You give. In the Name of your worthy Son I pray. Amen.

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