by Shannon Caughey
As a coach, you encounter many situations in which you recognize the benefit of receiving some guidance. That’s one of the reasons you attend clinics: to listen to people with expertise in your sport who can show you the way toward greater success. But the need for guidance as a coach extends to deeper issues. What do you do with that kid who is in trouble yet again: kick him or her off the team, or allow them to remain in your program with the hope of positively impacting them? Should you take that coaching position in another place where things seem a little easier, or should you stay committed to your current situation? What are appropriate risks to take when it comes to sharing your faith in Christ in your setting?
When faced with such significant decisions, it’s tempting to get stuck. What if we do the wrong thing or head in the wrong direction? Wise guidance helps us, giving us the insight needed to know which way to go. This insight also brings about the courage we need to actually take the right path.
In this series of devotions, we’ve been considering encouraging promises in the Bible about God and his work in our lives, including our coaching—truths that “put courage in” us. We’ve seen how God’s presence, love, provision, and power do this for us. Here’s another promise from Scripture: God guides us. How do we receive this guidance so we can move forward in the best direction?
In Psalm 119:105, the psalmist says of God, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” God guides us through his Word. We are led by the Lord when we listen to what he makes known to us in the Bible and ultimately through his Son Jesus, “the Word [who] became human and made his home among us” (John 1:14). To receive God’s guidance, we first must choose to trust him through surrendering our lives in faith to Jesus Christ.
When we trust the Lord, we experience his promise to lead us. But what exactly is this guidance he promises? The focus in Psalm 119:105 is not God’s direction for what career path we should choose or which play we should set up during a time-out. Consider what v. 104 says: “Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life.” The concern of the psalmist is not merely specific decisions but whether he is continually living according to the ways of God. Through his Word, God guides us in living for him: making the right choices and choosing the right paths so that we’re becoming the right people—those who love and honor him.
While we would love to know exactly what we need to do and where we need to go for the next several months or even years, God’s guidance is often more step-by-step. The analogy of the psalmist is a light that shows us what’s immediately ahead on the path, but not necessarily a whole lot more. We keep looking to the Lord to guide us for the next step, then the step after that, and so on. We trust his promise to do this as we continually seek him through his Word.
As a coach, this means regularly—ideally, daily—spending time with God through reading, studying, and reflecting on the Bible. Ask him to guide and empower you to become more and more who he desires you to be. Seek from God the insight he gives through his Word to live and coach for Christ—including in the specific coaching and life situations you currently face. Look to the Lord for the courage you need to take next steps along this path.
God’s Word is the lamp to guide our feet and the light for our path. When our trust is in Christ, we can depend upon him to direct us down the way of life. He leads and transforms us so that we become the right people who make the right choices and head in the right direction.
Be encouraged, Coach. The Lord will guide you as you look to him.
For reflection: Ask God for his guidance to take next steps in becoming who he desires for you to be—to show you through his Word the right path in your specific situation. Thank him for his promises to you.