Choosing a Side and Picking a Team
Who is on your side? This week has been the big opening games for college football with yesterday the pinnacle big-seated team games. Did your team win? Did you choose the right side to be on?
We all like to be on the winning team’s side. We all want the bragging rights to be able to say with confidence that our team is the best, brightest, and greatest. There are many strategies that can help build a winning team and every team player must do their part but for every winning team there has to be one key player, the leader, that pushes theÂ group to that winning side. When we choose our teams we must be careful to look at who that winning team leader player is. It is only with the confidence in that pivotal member on our side that we can trust we will be on the winning team.
Team sportsÂ can beÂ a lot of fun and the leaders of them should be carefully chosen. However there are more important teams that we should think about especially in terms of leadership. On the team of life we must make sure that we have chosen to place God on our side as our pivotal leader member. This doesn’t mean that all theÂ plays we make will be successful but it does make sure that at the end of the game weÂ are the winners in life. This week we look to David as he strongly boasts his full confidence and trustÂ in knowing he has the right leader on his side. He chose God. Our focus verse this week is found in Psalms 56:9;
My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side!
Perhaps as you read this week’s verse you are thinking to yourself, well I don’t have enemies and I am not fighting a battle. If this is the case I would urge you to think a bit differently and realize that the evil in our world is our enemy and we are allÂ fighting a battle whether actively or passively. Turning on the nightly news, reading the paper, or even checkingÂ an email and we are immediately inundated with the evil and troubles of the world. But the evil doesn’t always appear in its sinister form sometimes it seems enticingÂ perhaps evenÂ sweet. We are oftenÂ bombarded in the world with all sorts of imagery, entertainment, lifestyles, and opinions that simply do not line up with the scriptures in the Bible. We, indeed,Â are in a battle and we do have a very real enemy. The enemy we face does not always appear to be scary thoughÂ and can sometimes seem to be very enticing.
Enemies can Disguise Themselves
IÂ saw a cartoon recently that had the imagery of the Stars Wars character, Dark Vader, as he looked at the viewerÂ he suggested, “Come to the dark side. We have cookies”.Â It was a humorous little cartoon but it hit home as much of what we, as society, have accepted and justified even as Christians has come from theÂ “dark side” in the form of innocent little things that sometimes seem as sweet asÂ “cookies”. We have allowed these “cookies” to just slip in one by one with the justification that one little “cookie” couldn’t possibly be all that bad. However the cookies have multiplied as we took not just one but two and then three and then pretty soon we found ourselves surrounded by so many cookies that we had to get a jar. We cannot remember how it was before there were no “cookies” and we have just accepted that the “cookie” jarÂ we see on the counter is part of the way of life.
We continue to see the “cookies” grow in many varieties and we may feel the twinge of guilt as we know the “cookies” are not good for us whether we are actively putting our hand in the jar or not. Yet we seem unsure on what to do with this mountain of “cookies” that have seemed to invade our world and so we often just watch as another jar appearsÂ to place them in. We stand by and sometimes even watch as our own team members leave our side for what they see as guilt-free andÂ better “cookies” or perhaps even worse we have allowed these “cookies” to come to our side in our churchesÂ and weÂ accept them as part of our diet. So what can we do about these “cookies” and how can we make our team strong and get the enemies to retreat? We must first haveÂ the pivotal leader on our side; our creator, the master of the universe, we must first ask God to be on our side. Once we have requested God to be on our team we must work to build our team side strong educating others about the “cookies” and the dangers of them in our Christian belief diet that will take us to eternity.
Ten Traits to Build a Team with a Stronger Side
Team building has been a buzzword forÂ several years now and it is not only used in the recognizedÂ teams of athletics but the business world as well. As we build up our teamÂ with God confidently on our side we can use the same traits or core qualities many of us have learned in our careers and apply them directly to make a winning team with God. There are ten such traits that we should think carefully about as we build our side’s strength for a more productive and God honoring team.
Commitment – We must be committed to God and our task. If we are going to have God on our side we must be willing to work hard at maintaining our relationship with Him. This relationship must be placed first above all others including our immediate family. We must commit our trust fully to God making it our “commitment” to honor Him in all that we do.
Individuality – We should celebrate our gifts and the uniqueness that God has given and createdÂ us to have and be. We are one in the body of Christ and we must work together to serve that body remembering that one part of the body is not more important than the other. It is by working together not only with God but other believers that we will be able to get rid of the seemingly innocent “cookies” that have invaded our lives.
Communication – We must have regular communication with our team leader, God, and we must have good communication with others in the body to solve problems in a humble non-prideful way. If we do not have this communication we will become strangers to one another on the same side and little can be accomplished. We need to remember that communication involves more listening than speaking remembering James 1:19
Communion – We must spend time together. This is a time alone with God, developing our relationship, time studying His word, time listening, and time praying. We must learn to spend time with others in the body learning from one another, praying together, worshiping, and supporting each other in the battles we face not only individually but together.
Work – We must work hard together to glorify God as that is our purpose while we remain on earth. If we forget that purpose the enemy will sneak in with larger cookies leading us or team members away from our side with God to the “dark side”. We must maintain the body as the military saying goes, “Leave no man behind.” but we must expand that to leave no man, woman, or child behind focusing on the maxim of the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:16-20)
Laughter – Keep a sense of humor. God has a great sense of humor, just look at some of the animals he created and some of the things we do. We need to learn to laugh with God and others. Learn to play together enjoying one another for who each is, a child of God. God didn’t place us here for punishment and no enjoyment. Learn to enjoy life here knowing that as we move to eternity it will become even greater.
Responsibility – We must take and share theÂ responsibilityÂ in God’s kingdom together. We must be responsible for our own actions following the guidelines that God hasÂ clearly stated in His Word. We must also remember that we are human and we will continue to sin and fall short of the glory of all that God is. If we keep that perspectiveÂ close in mind,Â when one in the body falls short we are ready to stand by to catch, help, andÂ support them as needed without judgment or condemnation. If we share the responsibilityÂ in the kingdom working with our individual spiritual giftsÂ we will all accomplish more together which is our goal as we seek to create a winning side.
Service -Â We must serve others both inside and outside the body of Christ. We must remember that we are setting an example every time we act and we want our example to be in the likeness of Christ and give glory to God. We are toÂ help others with their needs great or small putting our own worries and problems to the side focusing on those which have much less than us.
Appreciation – We must thank God every day for the blessings we have received and focus on these blessings and not what we didn’tÂ receive. We must learn to appreciate all others whether we agree with them or not remembering that God has made each of us and none of us are above the other.
Remain Humble – Remember that we all need help. We must recognize that the current plays or problems of this world are not going to disappear just because God is on our side. We will continue to face issues and sometimes the “cookies” will seem to be mounting up regardless of our effort however we must maintain our trust that in the end with God on our side, our side will be the winning team. We must call to God for help and we must allow others to help us. We are not a team of one. We must remember and maintain our confidence asÂ Romans 8:31Â says;
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
In 1974, Helen Reddy, sang the hit wonder, You and Me Against the World, composed by Ascher and Williams. I challenge however that it is not you and me against the world but it is God for the world and it is you and I and the rest of the body working together through God that will show the world His love and commitment to us. For we can say in confidence that we do know; God is on our side!
Love in Christ,
What are Your Thoughts? Is God on Your Side?
Are you working with a team of believers to help make the “enemy” retreat? Have you seen the “cookies” mounting up but felt you could not battle it alone? Have you recognized that you must choose to make God your leader putting Him on your side? Are you team building with God and other Christians to make our side strong? Have you recognized that the warÂ is wonÂ but the daily battles will continue giving us time to “Leave no man, woman, or child behind”? Join us on these and other related topics.