Are You Missing All the Excitement?

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
Matthew 4:19

Several years ago, legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight was pheasant hunting in Eastern Montana with some friends of mine. While I may not agree with his coaching methods or character all the time, he sure knows his basketball. His college basketball teams won 902 games while playing for “The General”. Well, “The General” had dropped a bit behind the two local boys who were guiding him, when they spotted a covey of pheasants in the nearby brush. Within seconds, the pheasants scattered, and the locals began firing. Several nice pheasants were knocked down.

After the shooting stopped, Bobby ran up to the guides and said, “How come you didn’t wait for me?” After quick consideration, one of the guides said, “Bobby it’s kind of like basketball. You either get in the game or sit on the bench.”

Today, too many Christians are sitting on the bench. They have become complacent about their faith. Christ desires us to have passion about our spirit-filled lives, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20.

When God’s people “get in the game” exciting things happen: converts become disciples, church is seen as a “team sport” rather than a show, believers become energized and filled with the spirit, lives are transformed, families are united, communities come together, reconciliation among races happens, people experience the healing power of a loving Savior, and intentional discipleship is seen as authentic love from a grace-filled Savior!

Much like a basketball player, we have to make choices. To become a good player means that we take some chances, we step out of our comfort zone and step up to the challenge before us. It means being willing to “go inside where the big guys are.” Occasionally, we get fouled or even knocked down. If we’re playing all out, we get sweaty and dirty. We might get a bloody nose, undeserved bruises, and negative comments—even from some of our own team members and fans. Out on “the court” things do get rough sometimes, but like a hard fought game, we can not give up. “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Tim. 6:11b-12.

To get in the game we must be committed to following the game plan (the Bible), to obeying the direction of our coach (the Holy Spirit), and to taking an active part in fulfilling the calling God has given each us. Jesus gave us each a job to do. I know when Christ returns, I sure don’t want to be caught sitting on the bench. Let’s all get in the game!

The Power of Truth:

  • “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1
  • “Hold tightly to the word of life, so that when Christ returns, I will be proud that I did not lose the race and that my work was not useless.” Phil. 2:16 (NLT)

Suggestion for Prayer:

If you’ve been complacent in your faith, holding onto your comfort and your “tidiness”, confess it to Christ and commit to following Him, pursuing His cause—His people—whatever the cost!