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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cup - 10-25-12 Deadline (10/18/12)

TITLE: 1966
By Steve Dines


Some fans are on the pitch, they think it's all over ...(ball hits the back of the net)... It is now!".

That's my enduring memory from the 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany at the old Wembley stadium in 1966. I was ten years old.

What inspires me about that whole tournament is that England played as team; a team with confidence.

I think that confidence came from their manager, the late Sir Alf Ramsey.

At that time in my life, I had no real idea about soccer managers and their role in leading, inspiring and motivating their teams. I had no idea how managers could arrange the constituent parts of the team to maximise their full potential.

Looking back, it seems to me that Alf Ramsey was a bit of a genius when it came to managing the England team of 1966. He dropped a world famous striker after a very poor opening game and replaced him with a complete unknown, Geoff Hurst.

This must have been quite a gamble, perhaps not one that was popular with either the media or the English Football Association. But I think Alf had a vision of what the England team could become with Geoff playing as a central striker.

When Alf Ramsey was assembling his team, he must have had times where he thought he was dreaming; what a wonderful group of players he had available to him. How could his mission to win the 1966 World Cup possibly fail?

The same is true today with the body of Christ, the Lord's ekklesia.

God the Father has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Then He has the Lord Jesus Christ as our "team manager" such that all the members of the body can function to their best ability as a whole, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

However, based on our previous performance (as "the church") this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.

The Lord is removing His body from the church system (and the church system from His body).

This is the spiritual equivalent of firing a world famous striker; a decision that is highly controversial (amongst us humans).

But the Lord has a purpose in mind; to separate the righteous from the wicked, to save them from the judgement to come and make sure they win their "world cup", their victor's crown.

So we need to have confidence in the Lord and His ability to choose, equip and arrange the parts of the body for the best. This is not something we can do for ourselves, we must rely totally on our "manager" so to speak.

That confidence in Him will then enable us to be confident in each other, the same way that the Lord's disciples became confident in each other after the equipping power of the Holy Spirit came upon them as tongues of fire.

I am convinced that it is when the ekklesia have total confidence in the Lord to "arrange" us in the body and total confidence in the Holy Spirit working in and through each of us, that we will become confident of our victory in this life.

At the end of the 1966 game, the victorious England team did a wonderful thing, they handed the Cup to their manager.

Likewise at the end of our journey, we will hand our "winnersí cup", our victor's crown, over to the Lord.

We will understand fully that it was not our victory at all, but His.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 379 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 10/25/12
Well written, well done, and well told. I loved it.
Thank you.

God bless~
Marie Hearty 10/28/12
I enjoyed reading this. This is something to contemplate when we consider our place in our church. Some might be chosen to be elders, some pastors, some teachers, some nursery workers... but we all matter, and we all serve the Lord. Good job.

God bless!
Terry Atchison10/28/12
Makes me glad I'm a part of God's team.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/30/12
This is an interesting devotion. I enjoyed the sports metaphor and think you'll be able to relate to sport lovers in a way many of us can't. I also thought the World Cup was quite a clever take on the topic.