by Shannon Caughey
The coaches around the table were wrapping up a vibrant discussion about the significant influence that came with their position. They shared a desire to honor Christ in how they leveraged this influence. They wanted to have a transformational role in the lives of their athletes through speaking courageously about faith in Jesus and modeling what it looks like to follow him.
Then one coach expressed this struggle: “I’m hoping to influence others for Jesus, but sometimes I doubt whether I can do that. I’m constantly messing up. Too often I give into fear rather than sharing about my faith when there’s an opportunity. I wonder whether I can really make a difference for Christ.”
Most of us resonate with this struggle. We’re tempted to question whether we have the ability to consistently live for Jesus and influence others for him. Here’s the truth: we really can’t do this—on our own. Thankfully, it’s not up to our own abilities! As we continue this series of devotions on the truths of Scripture that “put courage in” us, consider this promise from God’s Word: God gives us the power to be and do all he calls us to be and do.
The Apostle Paul knows that his fellow followers of Christ sometimes struggle to believe they will be able to fully live for Jesus and influence others for him. So Paul shares that his prayers for them include this: “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms”(Ephesians 1:19-20). A couple chapters later Paul again describes how he is praying (Eph. 3:16): “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.”
When we surrender in faith to Jesus Christ as our Savior and King, God’s Spirit comes to dwell within us. Through his Spirit, God now empowers us. The power we have access to is not a low-level, only-for-emergencies power. It is “the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” It is the abundant power that flows out of God’s “glorious, unlimited resources”—so it is never insufficient, and it never runs out.
Consistently coaching and living for Christ requires more than our own ability or best efforts. It takes more than just trying harder. We need God’s power to enable us day by day. And we have access to his mighty power! God promises to give us his power to be and do all he desires to us to be and do.
What’s our role? Trust God’s promise and move forward in faith, believing he will empower us through his Spirit. Express trust in God’s power through prayer: “Lord, I pray for your power in this situation, and I trust you to enable me to do all you desire—no matter how challenging.” Then let this trust in God’s power lead us to take action consistent with how we prayed, being confident in God’s empowering step by step.
When you look to him, God will give you the power to impact others for Christ in your sphere of influence. He will enable you to speak up rather than shrinking back in fear. He will empower you to have a transformational role in the lives of your athletes. The same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead is at work in and through you!
Be encouraged, Coach. God gives you the power to be and do all he calls you to be and do.
For reflection: Ask God to help you understand the incredible greatness of his power for you as a believer in Christ. Thank him that the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand is at work in and through you.