When I think of the word “surrender,” I think of a dying to the flesh. I need to put to death my desire to do things that are not Godly, go places that are not Godly, and I have to get rid of any ungodly thoughts. As a man of God, I need to surrender those acts in order to follow Jesus Christ. This is something I have to work on daily, and there are always plenty of distractions.
Once you get to this level in the NFL, you have a lot of people from your past who suddenly spring back into your life and want to reconnect. Christmas is coming and it’s cold and all of a sudden everyone wants to be your friend again. When my future in football began to look promising and it looked like I might play in the NFL, my dad warned me that my past relationships would come out of the woodworks, but I didn’t really pay attention to him. Here I am in year six and I’m finding out just how right my dad was.
Surrender is really about having the willpower to daily kill your flesh; you have to be on top of it. Anything pulling me away from Christ is what I need to surrender to Him. In Hebrews 12:1, the Bible says, “Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” I need to continually look at my own life to find these distractions and pull them out of my life so my path to Christ in unhindered.
No matter what happens in life, I need to always find a way to Christ.
I had a coach in college talk about slight edges and small wins. Sometimes, when you have moments in life that you get it right, you should celebrate. Maybe it was a test God put in front of you and you won that test today. It may be a small little step, but it’s one step closer to the Kingdom of God! When I get it right — when I don’t answer a text, take a certain call or go to that online site — I build on that, gaining motivation to do the same tomorrow. I get a sense of gratitude, knowing that God helped me make it through this day. So how do I stack those days? On the football field we talk about stacking a couple good days in a row; it’s the same in our relationship with Christ. How can we stack the small wins over an extended period of time?
It’s amazing that God has put me in this place at this time to be used by Him. I could have been that guy who had a kid in high school. I could have been thrown in jail in high school. I could have been that guy who couldn’t make it to the league because he had multiple kids in college. But God spared my life and didn’t expose me so that I could get to this point. More than anything, this shows me that this truly is not my life. This is not something I curated. It was by His grace and His mercy that He allowed me to get to this point. God has allowed me to be a vessel to be used by Him.
I don’t deserve anything that I have today — this platform, my family, Christ’s love. As wretched as I am, He has blessed me, He has kept me, and He has given me more than a second chance. For all of this, I’m grateful.
This is not my life, this is His life, to be used by Him for His glory.
— Kelvin Beachum, New York Jets offensive tackle
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.