With all the football talk, the big games, and "Monday morning quarterbacking", I am reminded of the book by Jake Gibbs (Game Plan for Life). This 3-time Super Bowl Champion Football Coach and 3-time NASCAR Champion lays out a personal playbook for success to those who want to improve their approach in becoming more of what God wants for them. Gibbs' emphasis in this book is to show "how practical and relevant the Bible really is".
We all know folks who seem to be just coasting through life, landing here and there, picking up pieces of life's puzzle along the way. They seem to have no concept of what life is all about and one's purpose here on earth. To them, life is much like some of the statements from Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1 --'the sun rises and sets and hurries to rise again, the wind blows south and then north...rivers run into the sea but the sea is never full...no matter how much we see we are never satisfied...history merely repeats itself. Nothing is new under the sun; it has all been done or said before.' So what is the use of trying to improve on the game plan? Futile, isn't it?
Coaches all agree: no game plan, no victory! And isn't that primarily what coaches and teams prepare for week after week - victory? Isn't that what we all want in life: victory over obstacles, advancement in our profession or work of choice? Coaches have "playbooks" to chart out strategies and plays to achieve results - scoring and defensive moves that ultimately leads to victory.
There is an ultimate Playbook (Bible) and the Great Coach (God). Place man in the equation and the challenge really begins. From the very beginning, it has been clear that God had an ultimate, eternal plan. It included mankind (His supreme creation). After Adam and Eve sinned against God and were driven from the Garden of Eden, a great redemptive plan was put into action. Reconciliation was God's desire, but it demanded response from sinful man.
Over and over God called for men and women to step forward and be His Light Bearers in the darkness of the world. Repeatedly, man failed to 'play by God's rules'; instead he wanted to make up his own rules and super impose them over God's. That would never work! Noah was raised up at a time when sin was as black as could be, still the people refused to listen and claim a spot on the Ark. After the flood, God raised up Abraham and Sarah; then son Isaac was offered up as a sacrifice -still all part of God's Game Plan for mankind. We can follow great Patriarchs through their assignments from God, leading us to Moses. No one had a greater game plan placed upon them than Moses. But even The 10 Commandments were not enough to bring God's children to embrace His eternal plan for them, nor could a 40-year sentence of 'picking up manna and quail from the sands of the Arabian desert'. ("We have our own game plan, they protested -go back to Egypt and build brick for Pharaoh instead of serving God"). God's search continued!
"In the fullness of time, Jesus came" to fulfill God's holy game plan for man. He did what the Law could not do, what the blood of animals sacrificed upon the altar at the Temple could not accomplish, what the prayers of the High Priest could not produce. Jesus, in His obedience to God's will, became the bridge that allowed man to become reconciled to God through the forgiveness of our sin and embracing the salvation offered through Jesus Christ, God's only Son. (John 3:16-17). Through our faith in Jesus, through God's amazing Grace, we are able to get on God's winning team!
Coach Gibbs points out how important it is to honor God as the "head coach". Allow Him, through the Biblical teachings, to formulate a game plan for life; then cover all you do and say with His love and the leadership of His Spirit. Those who play by His game rules, will always be a winner!