The reason why I am writing about Tebow and the Bronco’s winning streak is because there are too many Christians who think God is behind all this. Some even think God is making the Denver Broncos win games because they have a Christian quarterback who openly voices his faith. I do not know whether God has involved Himself with who wins or loses in the NFL. There is no Scripture passage that tells us whether He does this or not. I just find it a little disconcerting that many are putting so much emphasis on the outcome of a game – and equating it to God’s favor on what appears to be a very godly young man who is the quarterback of that team. Give me a few moments, if you will to voice my thoughts on this.
God is sovereign over all things. This is biblical truth. Therefore God is sovereign, even over NFL football games. Some say God is too busy to concern Himself with such things. The God of the Bible is NEVER too busy. He is infinite and eternal – knowing every thought, intent, and action of every human being on the planet. He does this without needing a break – or a vacation so that He can unwind. Having said this, I do want to say as well that God has given His primary attention in Scripture to the praise of His glory as the gospel changes and transforms those whom He saves. Much of what we “make much of” is considered trivial and secondary to God. We place our focus on the final score of the game – while I believe our God places his focus on the character of those who play it. In this regard I LOVE to watch Tim Tebow because he glorifies God by the character he shows while playing football for the Denver Broncos. Does this mean that God therefore owes Tim Tebow victories due to his faithfulness and desire to honor God? That is something we should probably examine further.
When we honor God with our obedience to Him – we are blessed. When we choose to rely on Him and turn to His Word for how we live and the character we choose in every situation – we are blessed. When we walk in our chosen field of endeavor in a way that glorifies God – we are blessed. But to say that such conduct and such choices require God to make us successful and winners in all we do – is inaccurate – and spiritually dangerous.
The blessing we receive as we live for God and His glory is . . . that God is glorified. More than anything else this should be our focus. There are times when God is glorified in giving us overt blessings that are plain for all to see. The Lord blessed David with great victories in battle. He blessed Moses by splitting the Red Sea and crushing Pharaoh’s army underneath tons of water as it returned to its natural state. But there were also times when God was glorified by things that didn’t look so good on the outside. Job endured tremendous difficulties both physical and emotional as he endured a time of intense testing and trial for God’s glory. David may have seen great victories – but he was also the recipient of almost 10 years of running for his life while Saul tried to hunt him down and kill him. It is a dangerous thing to think that if we obey and walk in God’s way, we deserve the best – and only the best to happen to us. That thinking is what led Job’s three friends to think that because he was facing physical illness and emotional and spiritual upheavals that it was due to sin in his life. There are times when God is most glorified when we are obedient and blessed – but others when we are obedient and . . . not so blessed. The key is knowing that God deserves our obedience and the glory from it – no matter what our physical, emotional, or spiritual condition. No matter what happens in our lives – God is still good – and still worthy of praise, glory, and honor.
What happens WHEN Tim Tebow loses a game? Does that mean he is sinful and no longer worthy of blessing? He must have been a sinner his senior year at Florida because he didn’t win a national championship that year – and on top of that wasn’t awarded the Heisman Trophy. This is where the “blessed if you do” and “sinful if you’re not blessed” kind of theology takes us. And let’s step away from Mr. Tebow and consider others – brothers and sisters in persecuted lands like China, East Timor, and a host of Islamic nations. Is their lack of outward blessing a sign of sin in their midst. Be careful how you answer – for these are some of God’s most choice saints. They endure hardship and persecution with the godliest character that brings much glory to their Father in heaven. Are we in financially blessed America the godliest saints on earth because of our physical blessings? Oh, be careful how you answer again – for many times a nation that has everything it wants – is far more judged than blessed. They may be blessed in physical and financial things – but too often they are full of themselves and filled with the sins that excess brings. They will find that their fall will be hard when God matches their physical state with what they truly are spiritually.
We can only judge and examine things by wise, discerning, Scriptural judgment. God is far more interested in what character we manifest in the game – than in the outcome of the final score of the game. God is far more interested in the quality of our devotion and dedication to Him than He is in our prowess in some sport or other field of endeavor. God is far more interested in Tim Tebow’s heart before, during, and well after the game – than He is in his stats during it. And we would do much better to hope that Tim’s witness and walk is worthy of the gospel than whether the Broncos win their division and the Super Bowl.
From what I can see and hear (which is very little in the scope of things) Tim Tebow is doing a wonderful job representing Jesus Christ on and off the football field. That is very difficult considering the manner in which this young man is being scrutinized by those cheering for his demise. My concern for him is that God continues to give him both strength and grace as he seeks to glorify God, not only as a quarterback for the Denver Broncos – but much more importantly as a brother in Christ who desires to please God long after he hangs up his cleats.