Finding God's Winning Spirit

Christian Combine (Part 1)

March 23, 2015 | Greg Smith | Christianity

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This February over three hundred of the very best college football players attended the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Top executives, coaching staffs, player personnel departments and medical personnel from all 32 NFL teams are on hand to evaluate the nation’s top college football players eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft. This intense four-day athletic evaluation is basically a job interview that can be a vital step in achieving a player’s dream of playing football at the highest level.

These players are put to the test. Mental and medical evaluations are certainly taken into account but what really counts are raw athletic ability and potential. The stats that really matter are things like time in the 40, speed in the 3 cone drill, bench press weight and vertical and broad jump numbers – physically, not much is left to chance or hidden. 

Although the Combine may seem a little “management heavy” it benefits the athlete too. Here every player is equal; there are no win-loss records or conference biases – stats are stats and they are brutally impartial.  Good athletes embrace the opportunity to show what they have and personally want to know how they match-up, their strengths and weakness.  The really smart and confident athlete uses Combine data to get a head start on areas of concern.

All in all one could say that in this case “being put to the test” is a good thing. Neither management nor player wants to wait till game day to find out if they don’t belong.  

We need a Christian Combine. If we desire to perform at the highest level as Christians we need know how we match up, we also need to know our strengths and weaknesses. This is what 2 Corinthians 13:5 is all about, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?” The secure and unconditionally loved Christian wants to know how to strengthen their faith and want to be prepared.

If we want to be part of God’s team then we welcome being challenged or tested by Him (management if you will). We need to live with the confidence that we can perform for Him and always embrace the chance to demonstrate such.  We need to be like the Psalmist when he writes, “Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart. For your loving-kindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in your truth.…” (Psalm 26:2-3)

The difference between the NFL Combine and the Christian Combine is that we have already been drafted. God has already selected us and has provided us with the ability to play at the highest level.  The game, if you will, has already started and He needs us to perform.

As Christians we need to know what kind of things demonstrate our ability to perform at the highest level.  In other words what are our Christian stats? As Christians what are our “times in the 40 or vertical jump” kind of things. How do we identify our strengths and weakness so we can improve?  How do we evaluate and then elevate our performance for God? We will look at what I call “performance indicators” next week in Part 2.

“The last thing we want is to get to “game-time” and find out that we do not belong!” 

 

Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.”    Lamentations 3:40 

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