Does God care about Football?

Over the past several weeks watching the NFL, I have closely followed my favorite team the New York Giants. In addition, I also have watched Tim Tebow and the Broncos compile an astounding season. He has played well at times and at other times he has made mistakes that any other young quaterback has made and it must be noted that he has improved. From the secular perspective the buzz words are “Magical” or “Unconstitutional” as described by Stephen A. Smith or Skip Bayless when discussing wins, losses or general performance of Tim Tebow. What baffles many unbelievers and believers of God alike is how someone, who has “in their eyes” such a limited skill set, can command the media, show genuine sincerity about his love for Jesus Christ and win football games in the NFL. His detractors are across the spectrum from benign to extreme…whats more apparent is that I believe Tim Tebow makes many of us confront a phenomenon that we cannot control and that is God’s Sovereign hand in certain matters. Does God Care About Football? The answer is yes and no. As a Christian Pastor who believes in God and is a disciple of Jesus Christ, I am amazed at the thought that God could move his hand to sway games…after all, many believers and deists alike pray in general sunday after sunday for a play to be made so that their team can win. The preceding comment is an example when God (from our limited human perspective) is not as involved in such trivial matters because the “intent” is selfish and brings no Glory to God and in most cases is a form of idolatry or worship at the altar of Sports. Besides, convential wisdom and even sarcastically, people believe that God has a universe to run, prayers to answer, angels to direct and a Devil to fight constantly and He has NO time for it!

But DOES GOD Care about football?

Yes and No and here is why. I believe that God does have the power to sway or influence what he chooses, when he wants, how he wants and does not have to explain himself to his creation. That thought  process disturbs many people especially those who claim no faith at all or are luke warm in their walk with God and are limited in spiritual matters in the first place. The lack of understanding about God from the biblical point of view lays at the feet of not only the believer but primarily the pastor who needs to understand such questions and provide answers that are sound in doctrine, revelatory in delivery and void of personal opinion or eisegesis. First, scripture teaches that God can and does does involve himself in human matters and answers prayer with a  yes, no…or the dreaded NOT YET…but in Tim Tebows case, as well as millions of others, are not prideful or bragging on their own merit when they pray or display their faith in public. The sincerity is when Tebow gives glory to God no matter the outcome. Even the biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego illustrates the right attitude by saying that “even if God does not deliver us from the fire” he is “able”! In addition, the scripture teaches that God  knows all and even is aware of things seen and unseen, even to the point of knowing the number of hairs on our head or even when a sparrow drops to the earth! God pays attention to detail (look at the natural world itself) and that means he cares about how we feel intimately as well. God is moved with compassion when he gets the Glory or praise, he loves it, he deserves it and he is using Tebow and the Broncos deficiencies to display his Glory at a time when people’s only experience with God is minimal at best (God help me to find my keys!)…Remember, God’s agenda is to not only fight the devil or prevent disasters (which is another matter all together. See Theodicy and the Fall of Man) but also to expose as many people as possible to heavenly things and to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that people can be saved from their sins (John 3:16) (Matthew 6:33) (John 10:10).

God is not moved by emotions but by faith. According to the Bible, it is faith and not works that pleases God and God also is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. Yes other players have faith but most are not willing or are afraid to display it in such a manner when given the platform consistently (Fear of being depicted as a holy roller, bible thumper, delsuional, lacking intelligence, apathetic, or bowing to a spagetti monster). There is also the fact that God also likes to use those that are willing to submit to him and obey him on spiritual matters, even when they are not perfect nor deserve it! What is more ironic is that God knows our nature and he puposely reveals himself through the weak and unsuspecting and not the strong prototypical candidate when it comes to revealing his supernatural influence. Just ask David, Moses, Paul, Solomon and even Jesus himself who was all man and divine at the same time, yet humble and never hypocritical in his teachings or behavior. Jesus was a man but the God in him never sinned! In adddition, God revealed himself through the nomadic people called the children of Israel that were enslaved in egypt for 400 years and not through the most powerful. One of the smallest nations and most controversial, yet the birthplace of the most tranformational character of all time in Jesus Christ…He clings to the lowly and contrite in heart…further, he loves to have a close relationship with his creation and not some aloof or distant one as many believe.

Finally, I have seen God move mightily in my own life as well as countless others and since he loves us he is supposed to give his children an advantage in this life that is full of hatred, envy, murder and other evils that can depress an individual without any obvious recourse. However, it must be reiterated that God loves to be glorified and praised and if he needs to “anoint” a so called unqualified, running fullback with a slow winding throwing motion to confound the “wise and learned” of this age, resulting in a nationwide conversation about Christ, then so be it! That is Gods plan..to not call the qualified but qualify the called! His power is made perfect in our weakness…and Tim Tebow is an example of how all of us who are limited in so many ways, can turn into another “person” when we totally lean on God and do not act as if faith is a crutch in fultiliy.  Glorifying God keeps us grounded and humble…and when God delivers his promise he can trust that those he helps will give him all the glory and not themselves…even if it means (gasp) going to the superbowl or whatever defining moment we have in our lives!!

Let God use you for His Glory and Ride it out…Bumps and all!

Pastor Andre Martin

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