COM­MON GOAL

Swazi Observer - - FEATURES & OPINION -

WE all know that sport is an in­te­gral part of God’s cre­ation. We all know also that Je­sus in­structed His dis­ci­ples to fol­low Him and be­come ‘fish­ers of men’.

Bi­ble So­ci­ety of Eswa­tini be­lieves that God can use any­body in any po­si­tion to bring glory to His name as Colos­sians 3:17 says ‘and what­ever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Je­sus, giv­ing thanks to God the Fa­ther through Him’, thus do­ing ex­actly that too, by us­ing sports as a fish­ing net, and the ‘how’ will be out­lined in com­ing weeks.

Ever asked your­self as to why play­ers or teams pray be­fore games? And why do they thank God after win­ning a match/tour­na­ment? Strangely enough, no mat­ter how soc­cer, in par­tic­u­lar, has been shrouded by con­tro­versy of muti, vi­o­lence, drugs, fouls, cheat­ing, play­ers still find time to ei­ther ask God for a win or thank Him for it.

Just to re­cap on the con­tro­ver­sies sur­round­ing sport, last week we in­di­cated that like any as­pect of God’s cre­ation, sport has been dis­torted from its orig­i­nal pur­pose be­cause of sin. Sin is not some­thing ‘out there’ as if sport is the prob­lem; sin is an in­ter­nal dis­po­si­tion we all have, to re­ject God and to dis­tort His good cre­ation.

We now use our tal­ents to seek our glory rather than to play to God’s glory.

We dam­age our re­la­tion­ships through cheat­ing in­stead of play­ing fair; sin in­fects sport just as it does ev­ery area of hu­man life. God doesn’t want sport to re­main tainted by sin, and that’s why He sent His Son Je­sus Christ to be a sub­sti­tute (a con­cept ev­ery sportsper­son gets).

Vic­tory through sports un­veils the depths of a de­sire in the mo­men­tary hap­pi­ness felt when teams win, along with empti­ness that en­sues when the vic­tory in­evitably passes.

Though some may not ad­mit it, but in essence, the de­sire to be vic­tors stems from the re­al­i­sa­tion that some­thing is ter­ri­bly amiss, that we need to be made right again.

In ev­ery hu­man heart, there is that in­nate de­sire for vic­tory, and this ap­plies in any project un­der­taken, for­tu­nately for us, God cre­ated us to root for the win and not a lose.

While the God-given de­sire to share in this com­mon goal can be fully un­der­stood by be­liev­ers, the love of the game that hu­mans share is proof that God cre­ated us to unite in a sole pur­pose: the pur­suit of bring­ing Him glory.

It is the love of the game that nat­u­rally brings sports fans to­gether, shared in­ter­ests!! It’s not the least bit weird to high-five or hug a per­son you have never met be­fore if it’s done in the con­text of a sta­dium, but try this in a shop or street and see how you’d be la­beled.

The unity be­tween the play­ers and fans is a clear re­flec­tion of how God cre­ated hu­man be­ings to share in a com­mon goal as Acts 2:44 states ‘all the be­liev­ers were to­gether and had ev­ery­thing in com­mon.’

Such act ac­tu­ally runs far deeper than the mo­men­tary hap­pi­ness felt when our team of choice wins.

Our love for the game re­flects spir­i­tual re­al­i­ties about the God who cre­ated us, who He cre­ated us to be and what He in­tends us to pur­sue and en­joy.

Goal

Be­yond the ul­ti­mate earthly pic­ture to share a com­mon goal, the com­mon goal of wor­ship­ping Christ our King in ev­ery field He has put us in, points to an eter­nal time when be­liev­ers of ev­ery na­tion, tribe, and tongue will bow be­fore Him in hu­mil­ity and ex­alt His name for­ever as Rev­e­la­tion 7:9 says: ‘after this I looked and a vast host ap­peared which no one could count of ev­ery na­tion, from all tribes and peo­ples and lan­guages.

These stood be­fore the throne and be­fore the Lamb they were at­tired in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.’

God un­der­stands sport as a tool for bring­ing peo­ple to­gether, in good and to cel­e­brate with thank­ful­ness in their hearts to Him and as we in­volve our­selves in sport, it should be clear that the body used is the tem­ple of the Holy Spirit and thus wor­ship is still tied to the tem­ple, for wher­ever our bod­ies go, there is a sphere of wor­ship.

Re­main Blessed.

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