We have all seen or heard professional athletes following a big game, win or performance offer public praise to God. This has always been an intriguing reality for those watching. Some become an instant fan because of their expressed “faith” and commitment to God. Others are turned off by their overt effort to invoke God, or by what appears to be their abusive use of a Holy God. You will hear comments like, “they need to leave God out of it”, or “they need to keep their faith to themselves”, or “God doesn’t have anything to do with a silly game”.
Perhaps never has this been as visible and discussed in the media and culture as it has been recently since the emergence of Tim Tebow, an NFL quarterback with the Denver Broncos.
You may or may not know that Tim Tebow is devoted Christian who was raised by missionary parents in the Philippines. He was home-schooled, yet allowed to play High School football in Florida. He became a highly sought after college prospect. He set records in wins and awards at the University of Florida and was in 2010 drafted into the NFL by the Denver Broncos.
In his second NFL season, Tim’s relationship with Christ is a very big part of his life and has been every step of the way. When he was promoted to starting quarterback a few weeks ago he took over a 1-4 team and no one gave him a chance to succeed. In spite of his less than stellar personal statistics he has led the team to a 5-1 record as a starter.
Most notably he has consistently and vocally given praise to “his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” He has even become known for his Te-“bow” as he is often seen kneeling in prayer. These expressions have drawn tremendous attention and a good deal of criticism from the media, other players and fans in general.
Whatever your view of Tim Tebow, it raises some of these original questions again. Does God care who wins or loses a football game? Does God actually affect the outcome of a sporting event? Does God favor one player over another? Is God a football fan at all?
The answer to these questions is found in understanding the character and purpose of God Himself. I believe the scripture is abundantly clear in telling us that God is a fan of His Glory!
Ezekial36:22 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake. 23 I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,”
No, God is obviously not a fan of any sports team, He couldn’t care less who wins or loses, what he longs to see is His glory be shown. Our job as his children is to live out our lives in such a way that He can use us as an instrument to show forth himself to the world. God is a fan of His children who are walking by faith and obedience to His Word and are allowing Him to use them.
Like Tim Tebow, all of us have an arena of influence within which we operate. May we also live our faith so boldly and clearly that the whole world knows of the goodness and blessing of God in our lives. I certainly want God cheering for me!
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Rom. 11:36