Guest Post by my good friend Amanda Barnes
I sat, excited and proud, at my son’s first baseball game of the season this past weekend… It didn’t matter that it was just a scrimmage. The team came out ready to play BASEBALL!
They’ve been practicing for months, running drills and conducting repetitious exercises to prepare them for anything they might face in a game. They’ve received coaching and hands-on experience. They’ve been pushing through their mistakes by try-and-try again methodology.
By watching one another and applying the coach’s instruction, the team went into the scrimmage with some amazing celebratory moments and some huge flops.
They were seeing that the hard work was paying off; and also knew where more work was still needed.
I heard a mom say, “We’ve got to be more like these boys in our spiritual walks. We’ve got to work on our offense so we can live less defensively.”
Yes! This spoke so deeply to my spirit.
You see, I have lived the majority of my life defensively. Always trying to protect myself from hurt and therefore also from anything risky… like love. And because of this defensive spirit, I have guarded myself from so much good… ducking and hiding from the fullness that God has for me.
Recently, God has been showing me (or rather, reminding me) that we are in a battle… And it’s not for first place in a weekend tournament. No, we are in a battle for LIFE (Romans 15:13):
- Abundant life
- Joy-filled life
- Powerful life
And I want that life! (John 10:10) – The full one that God has promised me. I want to live victoriously – on top of the world! As a champion!
And like my son’s team, the only way to victory is through practice. A life lived in Jesus doesn’t just happen on accident.
- I must purpose to hear from God,
- I must read His Word,
- I must try-and-try again, and
- I must step out in faith.
Matthew 7:24-27 says I am wise if I put into practice the words I have heard and Luke 11:28 says that those who hear the word of God and obey it – are blessed!
God has given me a few things to help me get ready for the real game! They also happen to be activities that place me in a stronger offensive position in my battle stance with God…
- I can pray God’s Word – (Ephesians 6:17-18, Isaiah 54:17, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5) freeing myself from the enemies attempts to take me and/or my family out by praying God’s WORD. The spoken word is powerful causing both blessings or curses to go forth, so by praying God’s word… Power is unleashed! And curses are broken!
- I can believe (Ephesians 6:16, Hebrews 11:33-34) by activating my shield of faith and quenching all fiery darts aimed my way, turning my weakness into strength and gaining what is promised to me!
- I can share my testimony (Revelation 12:11, Romans 10:17) telling others how God has taken my insecure, love-starved spirit and turned my heart of stone into one of flesh. (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26) He did it! Not me or any of my attempts to earn approval or prove myself worthy. God fulfilled his purpose for me (Psalm 57:2) and I am now seeing Him in my life and learning to recognize His voice and His awesome presence.
- I can forgive (2 Corinthians 2:5-11, Colossians 3:13) by offering blessing and freedom, and letting go of any harm, sin, or words spoken against me, freeing me up to hold onto God and all that He has for me.
These things help me be stronger in the game. They could help you, too.
In my son’s game last weekend, I saw his strength both physically and in character. And as I watched him hit his first home-run, I was thrilled for him!
I know that it didn’t happen by accident.
For months, my son’s been coached for a moment like this. But more importantly, he didn’t just hear their words… he put them into practice.
- He kept trying (hitting some, missing some, smacking some, and fouling some)
- He was willing to put himself out there (listening, tweaking, swinging)
- He wasn’t afraid to change things up (a different stance, a different bat, wearing gloves, adjusting his hips or his feet)
And through all of that, he figured out what worked and what didn’t. He learned his mistakes didn’t take him out… they only led him to a better way.
By learning to be strong offensively, he was more fierce in the game.
I want to live like that. I want to live my life offensively.
- By putting into practice what I’m taught,
- By remembering and celebrating what has worked in the past,
- By letting my mistakes grow my endurance and perseverance….
… I can do just that.
Sisters, let’s decide to go out of this life with dirt on our face and grass stains on our knees – knowing that we didn’t just watch someone else have a full life in God.
Let’s put in the time so we can have our own!