Anyone who knows me would probably know that I’m an avid World Cup fan.

I’m the extremely enthusiastic type who will buy merchandise from multiple teams and stay up the entire night just to watch my favourites play.

I mean, it only happens once every four years, right?

However, jerseys, caps and enormous eye bags aren’t my only takeaways from the World Cup this time. 

This was what stood out to me: The intense shrieking and dramatic arm flailing from the coaches as they tried to guide their teams on the pitch, and their iconic expressions of dismay whenever their players made bad moves. 

One day while laughing at one of those meme-worthy moments, I was hit with an epiphany.

Is this how God feels when He sees us making bad decisions? 

In a game, the coach is able to see a lot better than the players because of his position on the sidelines, which gives him a much more comprehensive view.

However, he can only give them verbal instructions in an attempt to guide them. 

Meanwhile, the players who are actually playing in the game have a pretty limited point of view.

They are often obstructed by other players on the pitch, which sometimes results in bad moves, since they can’t see who to pass the ball to or know whether they are in a good position to shoot at goal.

But doesn’t this also happen in our life?

Winning the game is thus a collaborative matter.

Metaphorically speaking, God is much like our coach.

Just like how the coach has a much better perspective of the game than the players, God’s much wider perspective is far superior to ours.

And conversely, we are much like the players on the pitch. With a poor — at best limited — perspective as we navigate through life, we often end up making costly mistakes. 

Winning the game is thus a collaborative matter: the coach guides, the players listen and act accordingly, but both must work hand in hand. 

If we apply this to the game of life, we’d play so much better if only we would let God lead us! 

So how do we let Him lead us? 

Just as the players need to listen to their coaches, listening to God’s voice is key so that He can guide us to do what He can clearly see is best. 

The Holy Spirit will teach us in all things, so we need to let Him guide us in every aspect of our lives, even in the smallest day-to-day things.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)

Since the football fanatics are extremely loud to say the least, the coach has to bellow even louder above the din for the players to hear him.  

Unlike the screaming coaches though, the Holy Spirit’s voice is often still and small, and He doesn’t always boom at us to get our attention. 

It’s especially difficult when this gentle voice is drowned out by the chaos of this world. But we must even more intentionally tune into and become familiar with His voice. 

God is a perfect coach who is never wrong, so we can trust that He ultimately knows best.

Listening comes with obeying, and so when we do hear His advice, we need to act upon it — not ignore it or go against it! 

Even if what He calls us to do may not make sense in the moment, it’s because we simply can’t see as well as He does. Sometimes obeying requires us to step out in faith too.

His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9) — a sobering reminder whenever we are tempted to ignore His advice and play the game on our own. 

God is a perfect coach who is never wrong, so we can trust that He ultimately knows best.

Let’s learn to lean into and submit to the voice of God so we can do life well together!

  1. Do you see the Holy Spirit as a coach? If not, how would you describe the relationship you share?
  2. Was there an occasion when you acted without listening to God’s advice? How did that end up?
  3. How can you learn to better listen to and obey His voice?