Our high school football team is currently undefeated and in the state final four. Their average score per game is 40 with their opponents average score of just 3. When these boys walk onto the field, they play to win. They EXPECT to win. Their opponents know their record and know the odds. The other boys are playing not to lose. And there’s a tremendous difference here.
Did you wake up this morning thinking of winning this day, or just hoping not to lose? The picture you have in your mind is making an impression, creating a groove or a rut. The expectations you set for yourself impact everything you do today. Will you play to WIN?
How often do we wake up defeated before our feet have even hit the ground? We lay in bed, counting the hours of sleep we had, already determining it wasn’t enough and we’re going to be dragging butt. Losing. We rehearse the day ahead in our minds and it’s filled with images of having to go here and having to go there. Having to do this and that with not quite enough time to pull it all off. Losing. You envision yourself coming to the end of this day exhausted and disappointed. You didn’t plan it that way, it’s just how the scenario plays out in your mind and it’s all become so normal you don’t even notice it. Deep down, you’re expecting to lose this Monday and the entire day is a battle of you playing not to lose.
I Corinthians 15:57 says “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Have we forgotten we’re on the winning team? God the Head Coach and Jesus the quarterback have never been beat. You’re part of the undefeated team for eternity my friend. Your life is the game, this day is the field … show up for it with confidence knowing YOU’VE GOT THIS! Expect to win today. Play to win. Scripture tells me you are MORE than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. If you are more than a conqueror, that means you’re a champion. You win, that’s just what you do. Jesus wins. Every time. And he’s leading your team. He’s throwing the passes in your life. Show up and expect to catch them. Expect to make your touch down today. Expect to conquer every challenge that comes your way today. Expect that you’ll have exactly what you need to win today.
What will playing to win look like for you on this Monday? It means making time for God with your devotional and prayer to seek and love God, not to avoid his disapproval. There’s a difference. Playing to win means showing up this morning knowing that you are loved and desiring to sit in his presence because he wants to speak to you, he wants to guide you, he wants to pour out his blessings on you. On the flip side of the coin, playing not to lose looks more like showing up for prayer and devotional this morning because you’re afraid God will be disappointed if you don’t. You fear his disapproval. What if God punishes you because you didn’t make him a priority?
Playing to win is grounded in truth. Playing not to lose is from a place of fear. The truth is you are the treasured and chosen, most precious creation of God. He’s not watching your every move to punish you. He’s studying how he can help you. How he can set you up and move you up to the next level of living. How he can help you reach your full potential and live a life beyond your wildest imaginations. That is his plan for you. And when you come to him with this truth, you’re expecting to win. You have a holy confidence that changes how you walk and talk.
But when you’re coming from a place of fear, that place of believing you are sometimes lacking, somewhere broken, somehow unworthy, you tip toe through the day just hoping not to upset God. You shrink back and play little. You sit it out. You envision failure. You play out the scenarios of losing time and time again. Even when things are going right, you’re bracing yourself for when things will ultimately go wrong. And you’re just hoping somehow, someway you won’t lose miserably again today. You expect to still lose, there will still be a let down over not getting everything done, things not going real well, but hopefully it won’t be pure disaster.
And I want you to imagine Jesus as your quarterback here for one moment saying “girl, have some confidence in your team! We’re better than that. You’re better than that. We are going to win today! The victory is already ours.”
In everything you do today, remember in Deuteronomy 28:13 you are told you will be the head, not the tail. You will be on the top, not the bottom. You will go upward, not downward. You will stand victorious, not defeated.
Play to win. Spend time with your family today to enjoy them, not out of the fear if you don’t that you will face disaster. Exercise today to enjoy the health God is offering you, not to keep from being fat. There’s a difference. The difference is playing to win from a place of confidence coming from your truth, versus playing hoping not to lose coming from a place of fear the enemy has offered. Show up and earn that money today to enjoy financial success, not to dodge utter financial ruin. Psalm 23:4 “I will fear no evil because you are with me.”
Jesus is winding up and throwing you a 50 yard pass today. Envision yourself now being exactly where you need to be to catch it and make your touchdown. You’re wide open! The ball is coming to you. This is your chance. See yourself on the top. See yourself in victory today. You woke up to WIN today. Show up to WIN today. As a daughter of the king, a member of the undefeated championship team, operating from your truth instead of your fear, you live this day with confidence, expecting today is going to be a great day and you’re going to win!