Athlete, Here is How It Works
Galatians 3:2 (NIV)
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?
One of the special moments of being an athlete is receiving a uniform — having it hung out, donning it and playing one’s tail off in it together with passionate others. It sure makes you feel very accepted, special, powerful.
I can still remember my first uniform. Yellow and white. Played for the Gold Sox. Then the school ball team. Maroon and white. Many other jerseys and colors followed. It’s all pretty vivid and emotional to me just now.
God has a team too. It’s people like us He recruits to His roster. The uniforms we wear are special. They’re invisible but real, made of His Spirit. This becomes powerful evidence to us and others of whose team we play for.
As for understanding how we get our Spirit uniforms, it flows like this:
- God is Spirit. All-wise. Powerful. Brilliant. Full of light. We are to come to Him and worship in spirit too (John 4:23-24).
- God gives us Himself through His Son and His Spirit. We’re rostered (we’re “saved”) through His Son. And we’re uniformed and coached through His Spirit (Hebrews 1:1; John 16:7-15).
- God’s Spirit lives in people. That’s where you find Him. He actually takes up residence in us, coaching and guiding us from within (John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 3:16).
- God’s Spirit in us is a tremendous gift, a game-changer. We never were meant to play well in isolation. With Him present and unleashed in us, we’re powerful beyond measure (Luke 11:13; Acts 1:8).
- God’s Spirit is not received by observing the Law (i.e., rule-keeping never makes us eligible). He does not come via transaction purchased, formula implemented, or performance based. The Spirit cannot be earned.
- God’s Spirit is “received by believing what is heard.”
So here’s the bottom line — Jesus makes us legit. He rosters us into God’s family through His finished work, not ours. Believing Him seals this. The Holy Spirit “uniforms” us for life and powerfully coaches us within. His Spirit in us is received, not earned. Believe this too and keep in step (Galatians 5:25).
[FYI: All other world religions roster by earning a spot. But here’s the rub. The gods that drive them never quite let us know if we made their squad until it’s too late to improve our play if necessary. We only find out upon death. What insecurity! What dangling! That’s not a team I would ever wanna play for. You?]
Reflect: How do you believe you make God’s team? How much playing time does the Spirit get in you? What action might the Spirit of God be prompting you to take today?
A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, thank You for the gifts of Your Son and Your Spirit. Receiving them makes all the difference in the world. By Your Spirit, help me believe all that You say and widen the circle of how I love and accept others too, just like Jesus. What honor to play for You for life! Amen.