Since entering into a new city, a new team, and a new season, God has been teaching me how to truly be dependent on Him alone. No matter how much confidence I have in my own ability, God has continually shown me that all power belongs to Him. It’s been both humbling and comforting to understand that He’s all I need. I’m excited to see how He’s going to move both in my own ability as a player and in my position on the team this season.
Keeping my confidence set on Christ shapes how I look at everything both in football and in life as a whole. He is the only thing that really matters. Yes, I get excited about playing football and I want to compete to the best of my ability. But I understand that He’s in control of all things and I trust Him wholeheartedly. If He wants our season to go well, He will make it happen. If He has another plan for us, He’ll make it happen. Having placed my confidence in Christ alone, I shouldn’t be at all affected by any circumstances or situations I find myself in.
Because I’m on a different sort of mission throughout the season, the way I interact with my teammates has changed. As I trust in God, I won’t be so caught up in each win or loss. In a game where we’re trained to focus on results, I instead will be focused on seeing God in it all. I’m not anticipating or expecting any specific outcome, I’m simply focused on being present—ready to respond to His mission.
Though I will always try to increase my performance and do my best on the field, my main focus is to help my teammates experience Christ. My focus is to be more proactive to invite my teammates to Bible study and engage in more intentional conversations with them. As I increase my dependence on God this season, I’m looking for Him to move instead of me planning my own steps and hoping He comes along for the ride.
Ever since I’ve humbled myself before Christ, I’ve realized He has a perfect plan for me. He will equip me for the mission He’s called me to within this game. I can’t do it on my own—my body and my mind are not strong enough. But because of God’s strength and my confidence in Him, He’s taken my body and mind to a whole new level. How I attack this game is now different. How I view the game is now different. I’ve been completely rejuvenated! Because of this change of mindset, I’m ten times the player I once was. This is not at all due to my own training (though I do work as hard as I can for God’s glory), God has transformed me from the inside out. Even my coaches and teammates have been telling me that I look and play differently than I did before. At 28 years old, that doesn’t just happen. Yes, I’ve changed my diet, the way I play, and the way I view the films, but none of this changed until I asked God to transform me.
God is working in and through me; I can feel His Spirit on me. It’s not my own work—I cannot fulfill His mission for my life on my own. Yes, I’ve changed things up— I’m working harder and becoming stronger than I ever have before—but that’s because I’ve chosen to be completely dependent on the One who is in control.
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” —Isaiah 40:31
“For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He causes me to stand on the heights.” —Psalm 18:31-33
I can see this taking place in my life and I’m anxious to see how this transfers to the field this season.
Demario Davis is a linebacker with the New York Jets and is a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.