Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What we can learn from Tim Tebow: "Occupy Your Beliefs"

Tim Tebow is God's early Christmas present to the city of Denver and the Broncos. He has been nicknamed, "God's Quarterback." He has become a lightning rod and is the most discussed phenomenon of the NFL season. Many NFL analysts have picked him apart and dismissed him as an inexperienced passer with an awkward throwing arm who likes to run over defensive players. Even Tebow's boss, John Elway has been critical and less than enthusiastic toward Tebow.

Prior to this week, if the Broncos had been on a team bus with Elway as the driver, they would have made a stop at a rest area. Then, as the bus is pulling away, someone yells, "Where's Tebow? He's not on the bus!" At that moment, Elway accelerates, guns the engine, putting the pedal to the metal and drives off leaving Tim Tebow behind in a cloud of exhaust. Elway may even be delighted that Tebow lost Sunday's game, although he didn't really--it was the Denver defense that lost that game. But as Rush Limbaugh has pointed out, the media is now excited because they think this proves there's no God.
Some think he's too "in your face" with his faith.
Tim Tebow's story
Why does Tim Tebow generate such a visceral reaction from the media and fans? Because he takes his faith seriously. He "occupies" his beliefs and walks the talk. Early on, the leftist media attacked him for making an anti-abortion ad for Focus on the Family where he stood beside his mom as she talked about how she had been advised to abort Tim in the womb. That ad generated controversy and was considered a litmus test of Tim's conservative political and social identity. It also served up "red meat" for the leftist media, who made it their goal to bring him down or mock his faith as was displayed last week in a tasteless SNL skit.

Tim Tebow has defied his critics, leading the Broncos on a winning streak of six games in a row. He continues to kneel and give God the glory, and verbally thanks Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Some think he's too "in your face" with his faith. But Tim Tebow is who he is. He's the real deal. In off season, he can be found helping the poor and needy in the Philippines, or speaking in prisons. In college, he used his fame to raise money for an orphanage that his family runs. So when Tim Tebow takes a knee and "tebows" ("tebowing" has now become an internet  phenomenon) he is not doing it to be seen by men. He competes hard and win or lose, he will thank God and remind us that it's just a game.

As you watch Tebow, you can't deny that God is working in and through him. God is with Tim Tebow and he is a living example of what God intended for mankind when He made his plans known to Mary and Joseph two thousand years ago.

Joseph who was engaged to Mary but when he discovered that she was pregnant with child, he decided to divorce Mary in a quiet manner to protect her dignity. But God had other plans: One night while asleep, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and set him straight. Joseph was to take Mary as his wife wherein she would give birth to a son whose name would be Immanuel which means "God with us."
We would prefer to climb up to God through argument, experience and good works....

This is the Christmas story, the Incarnation which doesn't just contradict all human reasoning but transcends it--God becoming a man, one of us. We would prefer to climb up to God through argument, experience, and good works. but God has climbed down to us, meeting us not in the "high places" that we erect but in the lowest of places, in the midst of our sinful brokenness and destructive behavior. The Good News of Christmas is that God is with us: abiding, saving, healing, delivering, restoring, empowering, and loving us daily.

That's what Tim Tebow is doing--enjoying his Creator and serving the Lord because he knows that God is with him, working through him. Mr. Tebow is "occupying his faith." That's what Jesus wants to do with each one of us. He wants to be in you and with you in such a way that others around you sit up and take notice. He wants you to "occupy your beliefs." Start living them out, start putting them into practice. Start "walking the talk." 

You don't have to start "tebowing" but you could begin by just acknowledging that you need Jesus to save you, forgive your sins and bring you into a relationship with God, the Father. Then, like Tebow, let others know through your words and actions that you give all glory to God--that it's not about you, but about the One who made you and saved you. In whatever way God shows you, let those around you know that Jesus is the "reason for the season." Occupy your beliefs, until He comes again.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right Dale. Tim occupies his beliefs. Today at our local Christian book store several men at the check-out were discussing last eves game. I joined in and shared with them I had encouraged my 4 year- old great nephew to become a fan( he can't understand why people make fun of his "Tebowing"?). One of the men said he was part of a pastoral group praying for protection for Tim. I've found myself doing the same thing~ praying that God would continue to protect him from the enemy. Tim reacts just like Jesus:-). His life opens up doors for sharing about our God~I just love it!!