Have you ever had a conversation that was so powerful that it changed your life forever?
Our most recent guest on the Ask About My Faith podcast, Ben Utecht, speaks on how living a life of complete surrender to God has allowed him to use his incredible platform to display the love of God through every aspect of his life.
If his name sounds familiar, it might be because Ben Utecht is an accomplished NFL athlete, Super Bowl champion, and musician. He currently works as a Chief Culture Officer and is a prominent speaker and coach in organizational leadership and development.
Ben grew up in the church. As a pastor’s kid, he saw his parents’ love and commitment to the Lord, inspiring him to form his relationship with God. He gave his life to the Lord in the 3rd or 4th grade, but it wasn’t until he attended an Acquire the Fire conference in high school that his relationship with God truly began to take shape.
Attending that conference was a transformative experience for Ben. Something about walking into an arena filled with thousands of teenagers worshiping God lit a fire in him. For the first time in his life, the Holy Spirit’s presence was palpable.
Live Surrendered to God’s Call
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6
Whether we realize it or not, on some level, we like to believe we have control over our lives. When life throws us a curveball, it suddenly becomes clear that we do not have as much control as we might think. When this happens, it is easy to allow ourselves to fall off course. It is tempting to blame God for our trials.
During a pivotal moment in his college football career, Ben fractured his foot, forcing him to sit out for the rest of the season. This meant he would lose his shot at setting a record, become an All-American, and leave school early to join the NFL draft.
He became angry and resentful towards God and began to turn to worldly vices and activities to numb his pain. But still, God saw him and found a way to call him back.
God used a young trainer for the team named Melissa to speak into Ben’s life. God put Ben on her heart, showed her the darkness in his life, and prompted her to relay a message that there was something specific he was not giving to God.
This word struck Ben to the core, so much so that he immediately reached out to his father and sought God for confirmation. Sure enough, God confirmed using scripture, Proverbs 3:5-6.
“That’s when surrender became my testimony.”
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Live Surrendered to Use Your Platform
Ben shares numerous inspiring stories throughout our conversation. The common thread through them all is that we should use whatever platform God gives us to share His love and truth.
Whether it was on the streets, in his school talent show, in the NFL locker room, or with his corporate coaching clients, Ben does his best to lead with love and leave the rest to God.
“Everything I do is about relationships. The trust and loyalty within an existing relationship allows vulnerability to be easier to grasp.”
Related Post: Check out our conversation with Ben Peterson
Advice from Ben Utecht
“The very practical and tactical ways in which God speaks to us is how we should speak to people.”
When it comes to sharing our faith, Ben’s advice is the same instructions that Jesus gave us in Matthew 22: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
Love the Lord with Everything You Have
Love the Lord your God with everything you have, and let that be the foundation on which everything else is built.
Focus on developing your personal relationship with God. Press into Him, and develop your mental and emotional knowledge of Him.
Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
Once you have that foundation set, you can learn to love your neighbor as yourself. Make an effort to display the love of Christ in every aspect of your relationships. It doesn’t need to be overt, and should be relatively natural.
Remember, “Whenever you can lead with love and affirmation, to find ways to connect and find alignment or commonality, you open the door to Jesus.”
How can you apply Ben’s advice to your life this week? Relationships are a journey, not a destination, between God and us or with friends and family.
Take some time and reflect on your relationship with God and ask yourself the hard questions:
Do I need to work on building a stronger foundation?
Are there areas in my life I still need to surrender to God?
Do I need to re-surrender aspects of my life to God?
Am I making good use of the platforms God has given me?
Related Post: What Jesus Teaches Us About Having Faith Conversations