Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014 - Game Plan: Good Plan or God's Plan?

This week I find myself feeling rushed, overwhelmed, frustrated, etc.; much like a game that is getting out of hand. I remember clearly those times as a player or coach that we just kept pushing forward while falling farther behind. Those were times that needed one of two things: (1. Change the approach) or (2. Stick to the game plan.)


The first option is possible since as a coach I was often wrong; but there were other times that I was sure what was best for my team was staying the course.


The problem is that most people simply judge success by the scoreboard. Yet in reality there are times when that is an unrealistic gauge of success. There were some teams we faced that on their worst day would beat us badly on our best day. Therefore I as a coach had to determine a course of action that gave us the best potential for growth and to prepare for the next game.


I recall games where we played teams full of long, athletic, skilled players that we simply could not match up with. Those were teams that wanted to take advantage of those attributes and have a dunk-fest on us. Often these teams were not known for their outside shooting so I would pack the lane with our defense and tell them to beat us from outside (“pick our poison”)…


I remember at times when they would hit a couple of those outside shots and immediately players (and sometimes my assistants) would say, “We have to get out on them.” To which I would reply, “No, they will not keep hitting those shots; but they will hit all the dunks and get us in foul trouble.” I wish I could state that those games resulted in us pulling off the amazing upsets; but in reality we simply lost by less than we would have, but always seemed better prepared for the next game. I was not determining “success” by the scoreboard.


I think the Apostle Paul had learned that lesson. His life (on the scoreboard) was better when he was Saul. In fact life was incredibly difficult for him with a lot of defeats in it (from a worldly perspective.) Yet he stayed the course with joy! (Reading assignment is Philippians this week.)


Jesus also lived according to a “stick with the plan” mentality. Yesterday our pastor (Matt Brooks) was sharing in a series called “The Devil’s been Talking.” He was in Matthew chapter 4 where Satan is trying to tempt Jesus to turn stones into bread. After all Jesus was hungry, He had the ability, and there is nothing wrong with eating…


But Jesus responds that “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (vs 4) In other words, Jesus was stating that He would stick to the Father’s game plan and eat when the Father says to eat. The “scoreboard” said that Jesus was hungry; but He didn’t play the “score” but instead the plan…


Back to my opening. Sometimes my life seems to get very chaotic. That in and of itself is not bad; the game gets intense at times! But sometimes I feel it happens in my life as I take on too many things without stopping to ask a question the pastor raised: “What are the good things in my life that are maybe not the God things in my life?”


Just because something is good does not mean it is from God. It may be a distraction from the “game plan” and have negative results in the long run. (Yes we may stop the 3-point shots, but we are left with the other team having a dunk-fest.)


I want to learn to better make decisions based upon the game plan and not on the scoreboard. It is not just about making more money – or having popularity – or looking more successful…


I don’t want just a good plan; I want God’s plan for my life! And I will trust the outcome to Him!

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