I was recently reading an article about the University of Memphis’ basketball team. Official practices began this past weekend and they are faced with multiple newcomers on their squad. The article keyed on the difficulty some of the guys were having in adjusting to a new system.
The reason it is difficult is because Memphis plays an offense that is run very contrary to traditional plays and motion. Newcomers often will find themselves doing what comes naturally from years of basketball, yet in the wrong place because of this new system.
In fact Coach Calapari goes as far as saying, "It's not only like, a different style. This is not even the same sport they ever played, the way we do this, It's truly like the beginnings of the West Coast offense in football where, everything you ever learned, throw away. We're doing it different. Your job is different now. Throw it out. It doesn't help you here on offense."
That is kind of what happens in our Christian lives. It is an entirely new system of doing things. God’s ways are contrary to our natural tendencies. It is a system where leaders are servants. It is a system where humility is encouraged. It is a system where we are told to consider others as more important than ourselves. It is a crazy system where the first shall be last and the last shall be first.
This is accomplished through being Spirit-controlled instead of flesh-controlled. It is a system where the “playbook” has supernatural powers to transform your mind.
As I was recently talking with a friend it occurred to me; I have often heard people being told to be themselves. I don’t want to be myself! I want to have the Spirit ruling. I want Christ to live through me.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3)
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5)
How do you know if you are “getting it” in God’s offense? By the result that occurs:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5)