The Cincinnati Bengals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Green Bay Packers all have losing records at this point in the season, despite being teams that have regularly made the playoffs in recent years. At the moment, they are on the outside looking in and must turn it around quickly. Each team is looking for answers.

I’ve written about the Packers’ lack of energy and the Steelers struggling with discipline and accountability. With these concerns being raised, many people are pointing their finger at the coaches. Mike Tomlin, Mike McCarthy, and Marvin Lewis are all successful coaches, but there appears to be a disconnect right now.

It’s always difficult to place the proper blame between coaches, players, and management when teams are underachieving, but something is clearly off with these three teams.

With different theories out there, a safe question to ask is if the players are still listening to their coach in the locker room…or have they tuned him out? The coach provides vision, strategy, wisdom, and inspiration, but if players aren’t hearing his message and disregarding what is being said, it’s hard for a team to experience success.

As followers of Jesus, it’s also important for us to hear the voice of God. Although we sometimes tune Him out or disregard what He says, God willingly provides us with His vision, strategy, wisdom, and inspiration through His Word and the Holy Spirit.

John 14:23-26 (NLT) tells us: “Jesus replied, ‘All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love Me will not obey Me. And remember, My words are not My own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.’”

When we choose to listen to God’s voice and respond obediently to what He’s telling us, we can be assured He sees the bigger picture and has our best interest in mind. Instead of tuning Him out like these players are doing with their coach’s locker room message, let’s be encouraged to stick to God’s plan…listen closely…and respond faithfully. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I know You are good and faithful and desire to speak truth into my life. I pray that I would listen closely and not disregard Your promptings. I pray I would trust Your Word and obey because Your way is much better than mine. Thank you for Your willingness to speak to me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.