One year I had the opportunity to coach a varsity high school basketball team. I was coaching in a Christian school that was not very large. Because of that, we had a small group of boys that were eligible to play varsity sports. On top of that, some of those boys either had no interest in playing or were not athletically inclined to play. The end result was that I ended up having six guys who were under six-feet tall playing on this team. Needless to say, things looked bleak for the season.
But, something happened that had never happened to me before in coaching. These six players actually listened to what I said and tried to do all that I said. I remember clearly playing our first game and getting beat by over twenty points. The problem with that game was that we were scheduled to play that same team at our homecoming game later that season. Our school had never lost the homecoming game before. We began working harder to get in better shape. We developed a game plan that would help shorter, quicker, and faster players win.
The six players on that team gave me (their coach) everything they had, every day of practice, and in every game. We began to win some games. When homecoming came we were primed and ready to win. We beat the team that had beaten us by twenty, by twenty points! This six-man team was the most gratifying team I have ever coached. The reason was that they listened to what I told them and acted upon it. I believe that the Holy Spirit is looking for some Christians today who will listen to Him, and act upon what He tells us to do.
The apostle Peter was the one we remember denying that he knew Jesus on the night of His trial. He denied Christ three times at the most crucial time in history. However, it was Peter who stood on the day of Pentecost and boldly proclaimed the Gospel! Later in Acts 4 he was the one who boldly stood before the religious leaders without fear, proclaiming Christ. What made the difference? “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them …” (Acts 4:8a). The difference for Peter (and the difference in our lives today), was the filling of the Holy Spirit. When he denied Jesus, he was depending on his own strength. After he surrendered his life to the influence of the Holy Spirit, his ministry totally changed. My mentor, Ted Camp, has been telling me that he believes the Holy Spirit is saying, ‘I could do more with you, if you would give Me more to work with.’ I want to surrender all to Him today.