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One, two, three strikes, He WINS!
Running for Home
One, two, three strikes He Wins!
Dissensions, demise, division are overwhelming; tell me you don’t hear the banter? We try our best to balance in the whirlwind without being blown over by it. Regardless of our moments of connection, we join the downward spiral missing the toe rope to the upper story. Why do we give up before the next inning, either as a single player or as part of a team, here’s a guess?
The world keeps the focus on giving adrenaline hype to the negative making the fight to move forward futile. In this futility, it seems easier to just fall, and while at times necessary; it's important to get back up and continue. It may take a few innings to regroup, but God makes sense of our strikeouts and gets us back in the game. Life attempts to tell us otherwise, but again God is with us for the win.
During the game, when at bat, we receive the pitch and run like hell toward home plate. We may stumble; pull a muscle or worse get ejected from the game, causing an immediate depletion in energy. In these moments of pain or embarrassment, we forget all innings count, even those cut short are part of our season. The innings can drag on and the emotion attached to our bumps and bruises confuse our performance, and yet the willingness to advance toward home in the face of adversity comes from the strength of the Spirit within each player.
Make your attitude worth catching
Batting or taking a base it's not always easy street even when on the right team
Team attitudes influence outcome, and performance is subjective to their mindset, but, there's a collective responsibility to give our best effort. The whole point is to work toward the end goal, and to lose one player along the way has consequence.
The power of deceit is eager to divide us from our goal, this battle is ongoing, each inning has importance, the aim is to get home and leave no players on base. If a player has an off game, a team rallies in support, allowing for correction, while understanding as players, we will have challenging seasons.
Take the pitch
Hit and run
One of the most fabulous phenomenon during a game is the grand slam hit as we applaud the runner heading home uninterrupted like it’s easy street; the truth is, this is more rare than reality, however we learn from each run as we round the bases.
Every so often the extra long innings fuel with tenacity as we wait for three outs to make it to a new one. In the stretch, the highs and lows spar and the fight-or-flight reactions ensue. We scurry considering in the quickness of decision our best options, as all parts of the game are important to our series.
I’ve had a few innings of late where I wished for a runner to take my base, or for the Umpire to call the game, believing I understood what the outcomes should be. However, it's difficult to understand when in the middle of a play, therefore, "We need not lean on our own understanding.(Proverbs 3:5-6)"
Sometimes we grow weary in the middle of an inning needing rest, yet unable to take one, or not allowing ourselves to sit the bench for an inning or two. We may need the coach to step in guide us and He does.
We can come to the end of the game, or there’s a delay, and though not our choice we try to understand the purpose even when it’s not apparent. While the experience of missing a game is tough sometimes sitting on the sidelines, or when able to review the plays with God, He makes sense of it all; He shares strategies to heal and improve and then you’re ready for the next inning.
A good player looks forward using what brought them to a certain point using the wisdom earned from previous games. Trying a new approach to the repetitive negatives can move one in a positive direction, but again there’s a power on earth that wants to keep you from getting home.
It wants to keep our focus on other players or teams, their pros and cons, instead of working to improve ourselves for the benefit of the team and one another. The overstimulation of the crowd distracts and we retreat, sit out, or stop trying and the game falls apart. We shame and blame (Proverbs 6:16-19), argue and complain… (Phil 2:14-16), all things with decent instruction within the good rulebook.
There may be an inning of loss and destruction due to an opponent; or we don’t need the opponent as we beat ourselves up enough. We're all players on the field, one day you get the game ball and the next you can’t connect with it even once.
Life tells you once you’re part of the team it will be a forever connection, and many times, it's the case. But God wants us connected to Him first, He’s the lifeline that never unravels, even when we or other players do!
If He allows us to fall, He’s planning the rebuild. He gives experiences, moves our position, and makes us better players. Think of the strikeouts as a means of humble correction? Consider timeouts in the innings as a way to change strategies and then make a new play.
If You Fall
When others assume our positions they won’t understand our method or care to as they aren’t experiencing your inning the same way, nor are we theirs. Players and coaches alike ruffle with pride or attack when the umpire makes a call, thus exalting untruths and perpetuating a lack of momentum toward the win. We assume without knowing the truth of the call. Is what we hear factual? Are we sure of what we are seeing without the ability to put life in slow motion long enough to face the review and witness the truth of the scene?
Is the call not to love one another despite our truths?
As players in the game, we wonder why God allows certain things to happen? Some innings seem okay and others not so much? There’s no need to worry when submitting to prayer as truth prevails, nonetheless, while we don’t mean to get in the way it happens, as our weaknesses are prevalent.
Love others in your game the best you can, period! Hold one another to His love, there’s no need to fix or change people; we need to practice the virtue of patience as God walks us through our innings in His timing. He is better at it, but we forget we’re not Him. We can stay in the game, just need to spend more time working on our own skills as potential game changers.
Why do we expect perfection and truth from people who have flaws similar to our imperfect selves? By submitting to His sufficient grace the Spirit can work through us, and only then do we supply the true connection with His presence toward others in our circumstances. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the power source, is it yourself, someone else, or have we let our battery run down far enough for the true energy of the Holy Spirit to shine through?
As we come to depend on the Holy Spirit more, others may scoff as we speak of Him, but if they saw God in us, I bet they would scoff less, a mere thought, but provoking, don’t you think! Are we showing His light or our dimmers? When God is in the game the field lights up with excitement, but as kids tend to get into mischief they tend to throw some hardballs knocking out some of the awesome light.
Like the fly ball our words and actions can cause damage with their random release, hard balls hurt! We need to stop flailing them in destruction and let the game play out with God's grace not our own.
No one is perfect
Let God nudge you toward unity and remove the focused off worldview. It’s not our job to figure out the stories! Our greed for being right keeps the focus on the sinful nature of situation and not on forgiveness. Love people; forgive them, pray for them and let God decide the plays. We should stop telling people how to live based on our own opinion and live according to the word. If we stop analyzing people and situation becoming more open to what God is working through it, we can move closer to unity in purpose.
No matter how we play our inning, we can mess up; cheat, lie, steal, or win, God has a plan for every bit of the game. He assures us of this truth, it will be tough, you may feel broken, and you will lie to yourself and to others and then submit again to the flesh. But, the good news is God loves us, He shares that love through others, be careful or you may miss whom He is sending to be your pinch hitter. He loves you, forgives you, will not harm you and is working all things for good. The focus on earth fails compared to His majesty and our heavenly home, and yet earthly good seeks to distract us. As we experience this game it's a mere paint by number game compared to the tapestry of heavens gates.
If broken today, God is moving you to your tomorrow, He is using your story as part of His upper story. Our hearts should break for what breaks His and then maybe the weeping in the world would turn to tears of joy.
While I’m not sure what part of the life’s inning you’re in; the climb, the top or the downward spiral, know this God who wants you to experience Him in your moments and He will make clear in minutes, sometimes in months, or even in years from now, but when you see how paying attention in the game made you sense God more He will be all you seek.
These life moment’s are surreal compared to their eventual purpose, are we getting answers or clouding the beautiful outcome with our own thoughts and reactions. Life should draw us closer in unity to the design of God’s plan and purpose and not that of our own. Brokenness is a breeding ground for deceit and wants to blur the full supply of God’s Spirit.
The negative force wants us to separate, self-combust and turn direction away from Home, but if we look into the storm God’s hand in ours. However, the pull of fictitious wind is swirling to distract from the fact He never let’s go.
When frustrated and looking at your current inning with an evil glare, He still chose you. If you harmed someone while unintentionally or perhaps it was intentioned, still He chose you. Perhaps you turned your back or misrepresented truth and yet, He chose you. Then there are the times your view is obstructed by the plank in your own eye, He still chose you.
It’s understandable to get confused even angry! Go ahead, have the tantrum, talk to Him like the real dad He is, share your feelings in the conversation. Tell Him, He doesn’t understand what it’s like, tell Him you can’t, you won’t, you don’t want to and He will still choose you, because of the cross He chose us all because John 3:16 God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish and have eternal life.
You don't know, but no worries God gets it!
How sad that He keeps choosing us and we keep deciding whom to choose? I’m imperfect, flawed, we all are and yet we act a fool in reaction to the life calls. Separation and division is a powerful ploy of the enemy and not of God’s love. He encourages us to beware the schemes of deceit, while persecution is real He brings us always closer because separation breaks His heart, but He knows us so well and wants for us to, seek Him first.
God gives coaching for the win, telling us there will be tough tests on what He is sharing, allowing or completing through us. Our Father chooses us when we don’t choose Him. When we hide or run from that which is hard, He gets closer still. When we separate in body and or mind He holds our heart in the dormant state to rest it up for the new inning, He will choose us every time and we need to choose Him right back. God is in the game with us, so get the ball back to Him because no matter what one, two, three strikes He wins.