Watching my SC Gamecocks play ball yesterday and winning back to back games, working hard to dig themselves out of the hole of elimination has this writer's mind tuned in to another baseball analogy.
Outside the Batter's Box is the where this all begins.
As I've mentioned before, the prayer God has me praying in 2016 is, "Ruin me so You can be." These are hard words to express in the flesh, but I've learned that on the other side of ruin is resurrection.
The past five months of spiritual refreshment has reiterated a few things for me personally which have been profoundly life changing:
- Asking God to ruin us is not asking Him to crush our spirits. It's asking Him to crush anything self-made that hinders His sacred working in and through us.
- Crushing what hinders does not mean we become sad, miserable people. It releases us to be all He has created us to be.
- Being released to become a high def image of Christ is the holy process of our salvation journeys. The holy process sets us apart to project God's glory onto the people around us and into everything we do.
The process is continuous, starting with a sincere attitude of gratitude and continuing with ceaseless prayers of thanksgiving offered up to our Lord for the ruin He bore on our behalf. No one has ever experienced lying in ruin (or emptying of self) like Jesus did for us on the cross, in the grave, and then conquering sin and death for the whole world. Meditating on this truth alone, throughout the day, should keep us in a consistent position of pouring out, emptying ourselves before an incomprehensible, loving, and merciful Father.
With an attitude of gratitude, and with the freedom we have in Christ, we choose to move by faith into the batter's box. Then, clothed in resurrection power and confidence, knowing it's not up to us as to what the outcome of our batting will be, we fix our eyes on Jesus and swing the bat! We're only called to live Christ, not control Christ.
This giving up of control is such an exhilarating way to live!
Believe in Christ. Act on our belief.Trust Him to handle the outcome.
The trusting seems to be the hard part. The difference between the batting of the Believer and the batting of the non-believer is the Believer doesn't depend on his own instincts. The Believer depends on God's. We don't get to choose the outcome of our swings, but we do choose whether we will swing or not.
- Are you believing Christ can and wants to work through you?
- How are you acting on that belief?
- What has God instructed you to trust Him with today? Not tomorrow or next month. Today.
- Are you willing to be ruined so He can be God through your life, not just of your life?
- Are you willing to let go of the outcome and just follow not knowing if it will be a strike, a base hit, or even a home run?
Want you join me in praying today?
"Please God, ruin me so You can be. Whatever the outcome of my efforts today, I trust them to You knowing that You will work out Your will in Your time, for Your glory. I bring my imperfections into Your perfect presence and ask You to do with them as You see fit. Thank You, Lord Jesus for being ruined for my sins and conquering death so I can live an obedient life to the fullest - in Your joy, Your freedom, Your love and Your grace. In Jesus' name, and for His sake, Amen."