“Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11
Whew! This is one busy momma today! Please enjoy one of my very favorites of all time. A reminder for BOLDNESS!
Also, please pray for my mommy today who sprained BOTH of her feet yesterday and is posted up on the couch while somehow managing to watch two spunky four-year-olds….!!
Casey and I have a standing date night every Sunday evening after church (we have a night service), so we plugged our ears and turned off our phones so that we could watch the Super Bowl together over a huge plate of nachos. We were floundering on who to root for– I had some old Charger Girl teammates on the field cheering for the Niners, plus the QB is from the Central Valley, and we valley folk like to pretend we know everyone who ever lived within a 60 mile radius. I’ve always liked the Ravens, though, so that’s who I was going for. Maybe there is only room in my heart for one California team. We were really getting into the game and the Ravens were dominating… when all of a sudden… lights out! And not only out, but out for like half an hour! During the Super Bowl! It was so weird! The outage gave plenty of time for the Niners to recoup and slowed down Baltimore’s momentum. It was looking like a comeback was possible, but the Ravens eked out the win in the end.
One of the most incredible things about cheering for an NFL team was just being in the facility where the guys trained. We met in their conference rooms and picked pom pom scraps off of their practice fields. We walked through their weight rooms and ran on their track. We were constantly in the presence of athletic greatness. The players are elite. They practice for everything. They watch film and study their opponent’s every move. They X and O and O and X and pore over stats like nobody’s business. They teach them to be ready for everything….but no one could have prepared them for what happened yesterday. They just had to warm up again and hit the field.
The Super Bowl power outage got me thinking about preparation. We, as God’s elite, his chosen holy people, are commanded to “preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season” (2 Tim 4:2). What would it look like if a player just decided that he didn’t need to work out anymore? That he was just going to watch from the sidelines? That he just wanted to collect his million-dollar paycheck and go home? His selfish behavior would do nothing to advance the team’s goals and he would begin to become a drain on its resources.
You are one of His elite. You have been picked to be a part of His team, with all the tools and assets you need to win. We play for the trophy.
First, you gotta become a player.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom 10:13)
Push to be recognized as a first-round pick.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8
Train as one of the elite.
“…train yourself to be godly. For physical training is some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Be prepared for everything.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:13).
Play to win.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (1 Cor 9:24-25).
The enemy is going to try to throw any wrench he can into your game. If you’re totally prepared, even lights out won’t throw you off course. Our goal is the hope that we were called to–that grace to be given us when Jesus Christ is revealed. He is the MVP, the all-star quarterback leading his team to victory. And, this game is fixed. It’s already been won. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, it just means that even in the darkest hours we have hope for the win.
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14
Happy Friday! This week fleeeeeew right by. It’s funny how God is using this blog like Jumanji for my life– the personal issues and instances that He’s bringing into my path are so parallel to what I’ve been talking about here. We learn as we teach!
I debated whether or not to include today’s “topic” in the Normalcy Bias series, but, it matches up so well and explores a whole other side of NB that I think needs to be addressed, so I just want to touch on it briefly.
This will, I think, be the last “installment” so to speak of the NB series, but I do plan on referencing it in future posts. I hope these realizations continue to bless you as you recognize them in your life.
I want to call this last type of normalcy bias “The Bubble.” It’s a little bit different than the ones we’ve seen so far. This type of bias happens when a person is simply totally blind to the dams in their life and is living contentedly. They don’t have, or don’t believe they have (most often the case), any huge areas of sin to deal with. They may not be struggling with addiction or sex or deceit or any of the “big sins” we seem to think of. Instead of moving toward Maturity, they drop the Anchor of Complacency, blow up the I’m Good Enough Bubble, and never move anywhere:
They perch themselves high above the tops of their dams, out of view of the problems piling up on their Rivers of Faith. They look out over Maturity, and deceive themselves into thinking they are really there, when in reality they are moving nowhere.
Their sins are not necessarily the visible kind, but the internal kind that wreak havoc on the soul: anxiety, worry, greed, pride, complacency.
I find myself blowing up the bubble and anchoring down all too often. I get complacent in my journey down the river and decide to go no further. Here’s the catch- if you anchor down long enough, the current of your river can begin to switch directions, uprooting your anchor and dragging you backward, leaving you languishing in Immaturity.
We commonly call this Lukewarm Christianity.
God hates lukewarmness.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)
“For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:32-33)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
Complacency is such a dangerous place to be. Slowly and quietly the drift begins to happen, and the princess begins to look more and more like the peasants. We, however, are royalty, adopted as daughters of the one true King, His little princesses. We get to call Him “Daddy.”
“…but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:15-17).
Burst your I’m Good Enough bubble and put your princess dress on. Your Daddy, the King, calls to you from Maturity. Hear his voice, pull up your anchor of complacency, and go find Him!
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13