(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
“You play from victory, not for victory.” Cooper Kupp, Super Bowl LVI MVP
I had to think about it for a while to make sure I heard him correctly. Yes, that was what Cooper Kupp said after the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl victory: “You play from victory, not for victory.” You don’t hear insights like that coming from professional football players very often. And it almost went by me. Whether or not he was intending it to be, that is a very spiritual insight. It’s actually a very New Covenant concept. We’re not trying to gain something we don’t have, we’re learning to operate out of what we already possess. “But thanks be to God who always leads us in His triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14). As a matter of fact, this is the difference between the old and the new covenants. The old one, you are always working to achieve something you don’t have. The new one, you are working to make use of what you’ve already received through a victory you’ve been guaranteed.
Gideon wasn’t trying to gain a victory over the Midianites, he was seizing the victory that was already his. It was promised by the Lord and guaranteed by the crazy directions God gave him to follow, wielding the dangerous weapons of torches, clay pots and trumpets. (Sounds more like they were going to a Mardi Gras than a major battle against an outnumbered foe.) Follow the Lord’s battle plan and you are already victorious.
We’re not working for approval from the Lord; we’re working from the Lord’s power in us. This is the way it should be all the time for us. We are not just gearing up for one big event. This is the way it is all the time for those who believe. It’s the Super Bowl every day, working from victory, not for victory.
I mentioned earlier that this appeared to be a spiritual insight, though at the time I wrote that I knew nothing about Kupp’s spiritual life or commitments. Then I found this Instagram message from his wife Anna to him following the Rams NFC Championship victory over the 49ers: “In this moment. These moments!!! I thank God for each and every one of them. We have prayed for a season to glorify our Savior Jesus Christ and you are doing just that my dear @cooperkupp. SURREAL!! 💙”