It is a common practice among coaches to review films from games their team just played with their players in order to learn how they can improve individually and as a team. They also review films from other teams’ games in order to learn more about their opponent. I would imagine that this is either a very humbling or an honorable moment depending on how you played in the game that is being watched. All of the talk about how great you were will be proven as you get your moment to shine as a superstar on your team, as well as those moments when you forgot that the camera was rolling and you now can be seen in some of the game’s most embarrassing moments.
It is during that time that an athlete must remind him or herself that the purpose is to learn from the mistakes and stop, and go another direction in the next game; for their good as well as the rest of the team.
One day, each of us will give an account before God as we “watch the game film” from our life. The Bible speaks of the great Day when “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2Corinthinas 5:10). The Bible also tells us that “…no creature is hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).
Here on earth the Holy Spirit comes to each of us to show us “game films” when we sin. His goal is to show us our sin so that we can learn from the mistakes and stop, and go another direction in the next “game”. John 16:13 tells us “…when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…”
God comes to us and shows us in His Word how we have missed the mark. Hebrews 4:12- 13 tells us that “the word of God is Living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
The Holy Spirit’s job as our “coach” is to lead and guide us into all truth, to show us how there was another way that we could have “run the play.” 1Corithians 10:13 tells us that “No temptation has overtaken you except such is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” He shows the “game films,” and at times we want to crawl away and hide as He brings to our minds those moments that we forgot that the camera was rolling and we now can see our selves in some of the “games” most embarrassing moments.
The devil also comes to show us the “game films”, but his purpose is to lead us into condemnation. Revelation 12:10 calls him “…the accuser of our brethren…” The devil wants to show us the “low-lights” from our “game film.” He comes not to show us how to do it right, but to “kill, steal, and destroy” (John 10:10a). His goal is to drive us into despair and away from God’s mercy and forgiveness. He wants to drive us into a life that is forever entrapped by sin.
The weight of the conviction is very different from the weight of condemnation the devil brings. It feels just as strong and the pictures can seem to be just as vivid as we watch the replays of our past sin. Conviction from the Holy Spirit is there to lead us to repentance, not destruction. Jesus said that He “has come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b). This life can only be experienced as we turn from all that brings us death. And, to teach us, the Holy Spirit takes us through the “game films” to show us where we have blown it (sinned).
The thing about watching a “game film” is that you don’t know what the “camera photographed”, and what will be brought to our attention, or how of ten the “coach” wants to review it with you. Just when you thought the “game film” was analyzed enough, the Holy Spirit brings it up again; but this time “from another angle or view.” Once again we see the “broken play,” and feel the weight of our failure. Once again tears flow as we watch in horror the “replay.” Once again the Holy Spirit takes us deeper in an understanding of the depth of our sin; we see how our sin affected the “rest of the team”; i.e., those around us. The weight of the full repentance that the Holy Spirit brings us through at times can seem overwhelming. At times the full realization can bring such anguish as we realize we have “broken the play and run another route.” When we feel the weight that is from the conviction that only the Holy Spirit can bring to us, we need to remind ourselves that it is out of His great love for us that He is disciplining us. The writer of Hebrews tell us is Hebrews 12:6; “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”
Romans 8 verse1 reminds us “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Verses 28- 31 tells us “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
God desires to take us through the process, not just part way, but fully to a place of restoration. He is going to take us through the “game films” so that we can truly be repented; turned away from our sins rather than returning to our old ways. 2Peter 2:22 tells us, “But it has happened to them according to the true proverb; ‘a dog returns to his own vomit’, and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.’
Our Heavenly Father wants to bring us through a complete restoration that leaves us in right relationship with Him and those around us. A place where we, by God’s grace, are able to walk a life that turns its’ back on the flesh and sows to the things of the Spirit. A place where we can run the race that is set before us and win at the “game of life” that is set before us; a place where the “game film” from our individual lives bring praise and glory to His Name.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us; looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)
All scripture from New King James Version © 1984 Thomas Nelson