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Changes loom as the NFL regular season comes to an end

Ryan Denison is the Senior Fellow for Theology at Denison Forum, where he contributes writing and research to many of the ministry’s productions.

He is in the final stages of earning his PhD in church history at BH Carroll Theological Institute after having earned his MDiv at Truett Seminary. Ryan has also taught at BH Carroll and Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife, Candice, live in East Texas and have two children.

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Washington Redskins Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) celebrates his sack during the NFL game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, January 3, 2016 (Credit: Icon Sportswire/Andrew Dieb)

The final Monday before the NFL’s postseason begins marks a day of hope for those twelve franchises that have secured a spot in the playoffs and a day of questions for the twenty that didn’t. However, Black Monday, as it is often called around the league, is especially daunting for those teams in need of changes in leadership. While a couple of franchises may fire coaches during the regular season, most wait until the year comes to a close. As of Monday afternoon, six teams had decided to make a change with a few more likely to follow suit over the next few days.

However, with each coach that is let go, a new opportunity is created for someone else. And while the Giants and Titans offer perhaps the most intriguing opportunities for prospective head coaches due to the talent each has at quarterback, there are only thirty-two teams in the NFL, so every opening will have more than enough candidates from which to choose. As a result, the primary task for each team now searching for a new coach is discerning what they need most from that person.

For teams like the Titans, that coach will likely have a strong background on the offensive side of the ball and experience working with young quarterbacks. Others, like the Eagles and Browns, could probably use a complete overhaul and may focus more on someone that could function as a calming, stabilizing presence after the turbulence of recent years.

Ultimately, how well these teams identify and prioritize their needs is just as important, if not more so, than finding the right person to fix them. The same is often true in our walk with Christ. How well we identify and prioritize the areas of our spiritual lives where we fall short directly impacts the degree to which we can grow in our faith. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on human discernment to answer those questions, as God stands ready and willing to help us find the answers we need to draw closer to him.

Scripture is filled with examples that demonstrate God’s desire to help us know him better. That we even have the Bible is a perfect example of that desire. God’s word makes his will and his character abundantly clear. Moreover, it shows us not only who he is but who he created us to be.

From Adam and Eve’s time in the Garden of Eden at the start of Genesis to the description of the New Jerusalem at the end of Revelation, Scripture clearly reveals that God created us to live in communion with him. However, since the Garden, sin has been a dividing force that prevents us from fully engaging in that relationship. And while Jesus has repaired that relationship eternally, sin can still limit the degree to which we can truly draw close to our Lord in this life.

So take some time today to pray and ask God to help you evaluate the areas of your life that are most in need of repair and to discern which sins are continuing to drive a wedge between you and the Lord. We can’t have the kind of relationship he wants if we remain ignorant of the things that keep us apart. We already have the perfect coach to fix what ails us. Will you let him?