Thursday, October 26, 2006

THE ULTIMATE COACH

Article from Christ Commission Fellowship

Who in your opinion is the greatest coach ever and why? Red Auerbach, legendary coach of the fabled Boston Celtics was untouchable with 9 NBA rings. It was only in the past years that Phil Jackson who has coached both the Bulls and Lakers, has managed to tie his record and was on the verge of breaking it until he was derailed by the upstart Detroit Pistons. Larry Brown who eventually won the title, ranks as one of coaches who owns the best winning percentage of a coach who has never won an NBA title, until this year.

What are some of the qualities of a great coach? (Brings out the best in his players, is able to unite his team, can be respected by his players, disciplines his players well, relates well to players and understands them, good motivator).

What do you think would happen if a player suddenly decides that he knows better than his coach and does his own thing on the court? For example, the coach designs his offense in a way where he wants to minimize dribbling and wants sharp and crisp passes to elude the defense and hit the person with the open shot. What if a player decides that he wants to put on a dribbling display to impress the audience and takes the shot in the last 2 seconds of the shot clock without even letting his teammates touch the ball?

Or have you heard of Latrell Sprewell who decided his coach was expendable and started choking him?! Of course, all earthly coaches are fallible and imperfect and we can sometimes struggle to obey them.

However, the Bible talks about a different kind of Coach… More than a coach, He is called the Counselor, the One whom Jesus sent after He ascended into heaven. The Lord said that He, the Holy Spirit was the One who would grant us supernatural power from on high, and would lead us into all Truth.

But there is a big difference-- unlike earthly coaches who are imperfect, and simply formulates strategies and give instructions from the sidelines, the Spirit's presence is WITH US and EMPOWERS US as we step into our earthly hardcourt and play our part in the game of life.

How many of you wished you had more POWER in your life? All of us, I'm sure, but more often than not, it's sad to say, our lives are characterized by this (show a deflated basketball). What can you say about this basketball? What was this basketball meant to do? Would any of you want to practice with this ball? What would happen if you used this ball to practice, or in a game? Notice that no matter how expensive the material you use to produce this basketball, WITHOUT air, it will be of no use at all. So it is with our lives. Jesus Christ himself says, "I am the Vine, you are the branches. Apart from Me, you can do nothing."(John 15:5).

The Bible further commands us not to be drunk with wine but to "be filled with the Spirit."(Ephesians 5:18). Do you sometimes feel frustrated when you want to do something that you know is right, but oftentimes, end up doing the opposite? Do you lose your temper, abandon self-control, or sometimes are overcome by your own lustful desires? Do you sometimes feel enslaved by habitual sins or struggle with bitterness? As the saying goes, "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."

It has been said that "The Christian life is not difficult to live-- it is impossible." But frustration and defeat need not characterize our lives. We can actually draw upon the infinite resources that God has for us to live the Christian life.

A few years ago, a hurricane hit a certain part of the United States, which left the town devastated. Homes were destroyed, cars flew away from the force of the winds, trees were uprooted and telephone poles went down. After the calamity had left, investigators searched the rubble and wreckage, and they were surprised to find a very curious sight. A strand of hay was found to have pierced and was lodged inside a rugged and seemingly impenetrable telephone pole. Investigators were clueless and awe-struck as they sought to figure out this mystery. It was only later when they realized what had truly happened-- the incredible force of the hurricane's howling winds propelled the small, insignificant piece of limp hay right into the solid trunk of the telephone pole.

This is a picture of what our lives can be, if fully submitted to the strength and influence of the Holy Spirit. Though we may sometimes feel weak and insignificant, when controlled by the power of God's Holy Spirit, we can "do even greater things" than what Jesus said He Himself has done.

If you want to learn to live the abundant and fruitful life that God designed you to live, it's as simple as breathing: What are the two components of spiritual breathing? Exhale and Inhale.

When we EXHALE, we let out the impure. What we are actually doing is confessing our sins-- remember our last lesson? Deal with sin in your life because God cannot fill a dirty vessel. If the cup of your life is filled with mud, God won't be able to fill it with sparkling clean and refreshing water.

What does INHALING involve? When we inhale, we are asking the Holy Spirit to fill our lives. Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not mean that you have "this much" of the Holy Spirit. In reality, it means how much of the Holy Spirit has of YOU!!!

Right now, if you are tired of living this kind of a powerless life (show deflated basketball), and wish to live this kind of a life (bounce an inflated basketball), and you want to be useful for the Lord and His kingdom, I want to invite you to surrender the control of your life to the Holy Spirit. You can do that by expressing something like this:

Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I have been in control of my own life, and as a result, I have sinned against you. But I am tired of my powerless and aimless life. I realize that apart from You, I can do nothing, and I am nothing. I want to surrender the control of my life to you, and ask you to be my Head Coach. I trust that you have the best plans for me, and that only you can enable me to live the life that you have designed for me to live. I ask your Holy Spirit to fill and empower me, just as you commanded me to be filled, and promised to fill me if I asked in faith. I pray all these things in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

If you asked the Holy Spirit to fill your life today, you will experience more and more of His presence and power in your life. The Bible says that "God has given us a Spirit of love, of power and of a sound mind"(2 Tim 1:7), and "the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."(Galatians 5:22-23). This kind of genuine power will manifest itself in your life more and more as you learn to walk with God daily in your life!

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