How To Turn Your Challenges Into Victory
The Lakers’ Chaplain Romell Witherspoon shares sports-inspired wisdom on the keys to victory in personal development, and to overcome the enemy in every area of our lives.
What is a scouting report? A scouting report is what a sports team creates when they come together to study and evaluate the strengths, the weaknesses, and the tendencies of their opponent, in order to put themselves in the best position to win.
To win against the enemy requires strategy, and in your report, there are 4 keys to victory which you must focus on in order to win. They are:
- In-game adjustment
4 KEYS TO VICTORY
#1. Your Offense. 1 Corinthians 9:24 – Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
If you don’t score, you cannot win. You must be aggressive. Shoot to win, not just because you’re open. Train your mind for the fight of your life. As the iconic world heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali once said, “There’s nothing wrong with being knocked down, whether in or outside the ring: it’s staying down that’s the problem.” You need your faith to be at its strongest when your fears are at their loudest. Be tired of making the same mistakes over and over again. Work on the weaknesses that weaken you. If there is no resistance in your life, then there can not be progression. If something doesn’t challenge you, then it will not change you. Understand that real strength is restraint; real strength is doing the right thing even when you don’t want to. Real strength is in the man who seeks peace. God said, “Once you confess your sins, you overcome by words of your testimony.”
#2. Your Defense. Psalm 145:14 – The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.
If you don’t keep your opponent from scoring, you can’t win. When the enemy is trying to penetrate, you’re closer than you think. The enemy will create distractions. An attack on your character it is an indication that the enemy is anticipating your breakthrough. If you’re not being attacked on either side, then there’s nothing coming from above where you already are. You must play defense. God knows that at some point, you will fail. Can you play tired? Can you still be effective while running on no gas: or will you be a liability? Conditioning is the one thing you can control; fatigue is a psychological battle you must overcome. Outlast your opponent; outlast your circumstances and the devil has to fall by the wayside. God says, “I will uphold you.” A miracle is something only God can do.
#3. Your In-game adjustment – Hebrews 10:35-36 – So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.
A coach calls a time-out to make adjustments in his strategy when things happen in the game which he doesn’t expect. He can’t let his opponent keep scoring. But obstacles are opportunities to improve our situation. “Don’t throw away your confidence,” God says in His word; “Speak things that are not as if though they are”: that’s imagination, and if you focus on it long enough it will become reality. If you’re not dreaming about the next level, then you’re wasting precious time that God gave you. Imagine where you see yourself in the very near future. Imagine not working for a company, but owning the company and producing products; creating jobs for each other. You must have a purpose in mind. True confidence is birthed from imagination.
To persevere means to endure. The strongest are not those who show strength in front of the world, but those who fight and win battles that others know nothing about.
“The greatest nation is imagination” – Romell Witherspoon
#4. Your Opponent – Deuteronomy 28:7 -“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
One of the most important aspects of winning the game of life is knowing your opponent. Know him better than you know yourself; know your weaknesses better than you know your strengths. A man is not who he thinks he is; it is who he hides. Satan loves to remind you of what you used to be in order to take the attention off of what God has for you. He creates fear; he makes you believe in things that are not there. But you can either forget everything and run, or face everything and recover.
Who or what do you continue to lose to? God is asking you to let go of your weaknesses. God is asking you to be tough. God is asking you to be resilient. Don’t waste your energy focusing on where you used to be; don’t throw in the towel right before the victory. The challenge is between your ears! If at first you don’t succeed then try something harder. Your attitude during your season of lack determines the altitude during your season of plenty. God can only bless you based on your ability to handle your lowest place.
PUT YOUR FUTURE IN GOD’S HANDS
The direction of our lives is usually the direction of our focus. But sometimes God places us “off the mark” just to prove His ability. God can put a trajectory on your life to bring you to wherever He wants you to be; keep your focus on where God is taking you.
The difference between where you are now and where you want to be is in what you do. But at no time did God tell you to do His fighting for Him. The best way to win the fight is to never get in the ring in the first place. Let GOD fight the battle for you! It is not your battle to fight but His to win.
Stop allowing yourself to be knocked off-balance! When life puts you on your knees, it’s just a perfect position to pray.
Pray to God,
“God help me” –
and His help is on the way; God will step in and say, “This one’s on Me.” You cannot fight the enemy on your own; you cannot fight with your thoughts: but with your words. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Say to yourself, “I can do this. I’m going to make it happen.” If you’re willing to take the risk, then God will give you the reward. But if you even have a mustard seed of doubt, then your prayers are canceled.
God says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So Prove to God that you’re on His time. Tell God, “I’ll do whatever it takes. I’m in this no matter how long it takes.” There are many ways to victory, but there’s only one way to fail: and that is to quit. The most important thing in life is to make it to your future.
Give yourself the best opportunity to score. Put your scouting report to work, and let your life line up with the will of God.
Adapted from the sermon, “The Scouting Report: Help Is On The Way”, by Romell Witherspoon at West Angeles COGIC.
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Psalm 145:14, Hebrews 10:35-36, Proverbs 18:21, Romans 4:17, 10:17, Deuteronomy 28:7, Matthew 17:20, 1 John 1:9, Revelation 12:11, Jeremiah 29:11.
Romell Witherspoon was born and raised in Seattle, WA. He grew up in the church with a passion for inspiring others and for acting. His first audience was his father’s church congregation. He studied Media & Performing Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA on a full basketball scholarship. Since then, Romell has appeared on stage, television shows, and national commercials. He is currently Chaplain of the Los Angeles Lakers and is now a much sought-after motivational speaker. Romell’s favorite scripture is Proverbs 18:16 – “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.”
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