14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:14-15

Like our ancestors, the Israelites, we continuously fall into idolatry. It may seem foreign to you, but idolatry is simply anytime we place something, someone, or even some agenda over or against God and His Kingdom. With that in mind, it’s easy to spot how the sin of idolatry still runs rampant in our day. Obviously, the major idol we find today isn’t the pagan gods our ancestors worshipped. Instead, we tend to elevate and idolize ourselves. This reality is very evident in sports, where the pursuit of becoming the best and beating everyone else on the way to the top is applauded. We must ask ourselves daily: “Who will we serve?”

We might think, “Of course, I would choose God.” However, we all know the daily application of this choice can be difficult, and we all have days when we don’t even desire to serve God. The truth is feelings come and go, but we must never base our devotion to God on how we feel. You wouldn’t tell your coach you’re not playing or practicing today because you don’t feel like it. When it comes to serving God in athletics, we don’t need to complicate it either. Similar to life outside the lines, we can serve God by caring for those around us, respecting our opponents, and humbly using our gifts to glorify Him.

God has graciously given us a choice.  While the enemy deceives us into becoming slaves to our idols, our Father invites us to be His children, using our talents and abilities to serve Him. Furthermore, as the world falls under the lie that humans are at their best when they are doing whatever they want, whenever they want; we know the truth is humans are at their best, and life is at its fullest when God is in His rightful place, and we are freely serving Him.

  • Prayerfully examine your heart and its desires. Are there any idols in your life?
  • Repent of the idolatry and place God at the center of your life.
  • Ask God to help you by His Spirit to serve Him faithfully.

Pre-Game Playlist: