Athletes Filled with the Holy Spirit

Exodus 31: 1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God…

We tend to have a distorted view of God and the Holy Spirit.  While it is true that we see many manifestations of the Holy Spirit, especially in the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit is much more than speaking in tongues, healings, or powerful shakings.  When the Bible speaks of the Gifts of the Spirit it lists at least 18 different gifts (found in 1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11). They are: Words of Wisdom, Words of Knowledge, Faith, Gifts of Healing, Working of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits, Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, Helping, Administration, Grace, Ministry/Service, Teaching, Encouragement, Giving, Leadership, and Mercy.  I believe God can provide even more spiritual gifts to us as believers.

Today’s scripture reads: “Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills” (Exodus 31: 1-3).  What may surprise you is that this is the first time in the Bible that a man is described as being: “filled with the spirit of God”.  It is interesting to note that his man Bezalel wasn’t a priest or a prophet.  There also is no earth-shattering description of God’ spirit causing him to shake or speak in another tongue.  He was a man who worked with his hands and God decided to fill him with his spirit to accomplish an incredibly important task – that was designing and building the Ark of the Covenant, which would ultimately hold the commandments of God, and his very spirit.

Isn’t it interesting that God chose to first fill a common laborer with his spirit?  I believe God wanted to make it very clear that he makes no distinction between the sacred and the secular in our lives.  For each of us, our lives need to be led by the Holy Spirit whom we received when we accepted Jesus into our hearts (Ephesians 1:13).  He gives us specific gifts of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of advancing his kingdom on earth.  And from 1 Corinthians 12:11, we read that God gives the Gifts of the Spirit “just as he determines”.  While we can ask God for specific spiritual gifts (in fact in 1 Corinthians 14:1 it says that we should “eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit”), it is critical that we ultimately be content with the gifts that God chooses to give us, and that we use them to his glory. Pride has no place in the Christian church, and certainly not when it comes to the gifts we have been given.

As an athlete you may be frequently called talented – that is a person who has numerous talents and skills.  And God may have made you very talented; but of far greater value is being filled with the Holy Spirit and to be operating with the Gifts of the Spirit.  I believe, like Bezalel, God fills athletes with his Spirit to fully accomplish his purposes.  Never separate your athletic endeavors from your “church work”.  Never turn it into “secular” vs “sacred”.  God may have given you incredible athletic talents which have allowed you to be the starting quarterback or the star point guard; a position which requires you to lead.  But he may have also, in contrast, given you the spiritual gift of serving.  If you are obedient to listening to God’s calling and using this spiritual gift, you will see God work mightily.  While we are all called to serve, when it is your spiritual gift, you will see far greater supernatural results when you operate in this area.  This principle is the same for all the spiritual gifts.  Your life is sacred in God’s eyes and he will give you his gifts of the Spirit as he determines.  Pray to God and ask him to fill you with his Spirit, and make you aware of those gifts, so you can accomplish all he has prepared for you to do.

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