Stretching Saints

I’m that girl! The one whose emotions are twisted and turned by the performance of her teams. Who are my teams? Well the Godly (and very true) response is Team Jesus ALL day, everyday. As it relates to sports, I am a Who Dat (New Orleans Saints) and Roll Tide (Alabama) girl!!!
Football is a beautiful  game when done well;  it’s a collaboration of individuals working towards a common goal. I would know,since  I am a fan of teams with 17 nationals championships (2 in the last 3 years) and one glorious Super Bowl just 3 years after Hurricane Katrina tore threw New Orleans
But football is just the model for collective collaboration. The original, the masterpiece— that’s found in my first team, my eternal team, you guessed it, Team Jesus!!!
As believers, we are committed to one Team, that is the Kingdom of Heaven. Our head coach is also called our high priest . (Hebrews 5:10). His name is Jesus and yes there were coaches or priests before him, but fortunately for us— there will be no other coach after him. We’re blessed with something many teams lack, stability. God has given our team a leader and he’s provided us with the tools for success.
The Bible is our playbook. It contains ALL the answers. As my church says, the Word of God is the Answer( shout-out to Faith Chapel) Unfortunately, we as believers don’t always use our playbook to its full capabilities. We pick a few plays (scriptures) and those are the ones we live by or quote. Usually ,we chose ones that speak prosperity and blessings which cater to our needs. But we skip over the plays ( scriptures) that make us uncomfortable, the ones that make us stretch for the goal. This is the trap of the enemy; he knows familiarity keeps us from all God wants to do in us and through us.
When we choose to stretch in our relationship with God, we leave our fandom behind. In a strange way, we become FOLLOWERS. The world preaches leadership and that’s all good but for God’s kingdom to operate effectively— we’re called to follow.
Following isn’t easy. To follow, we must relinquish control. The outcome isn’t about our personal needs or wants, it’s about working for something bigger than ourselves .Like the 11 men on the football field, God calls us to “do our job” and if everyone does their job — then success will come.  Don’t believe me, it’s written in our playbook. 1st Corinthians 12 is all about playing your part an how the parts work together for maximum function.
I’m not excluded from wanting to stay in my comfort zone and not stretch for bigger. The Holy Spirit convicted me just this week with a great football analogy. (Aside, I love that God will speak in a language we understand)
So the Holy Spirit told me “you’re Alex Smith and I want you to be Drew Brees. ” At first I was offended because Drew Brees is the quarterback of my beloved Saints, so of course I was like God I wanna be him too.
But then I thought about the first part of the statement.  What did the Holy Spirit mean when he said you’re Alex Smith. Well Alex smith is safe.  He’s a good quarterback, but he’s not a risk taker. He doesn’t throw passes out of his comfort zone, so his teams usually have to score points the hard way. They have to go 70 or 80 yards for touchdowns..
What separates  Drew Brees from Alex Smith? Well Brees is a surefire Hall of Famer and Alex Smith is just a good quarterback. Brees is in the NFL record books and will have a legacy far beyond his playing days.  Brees is probably less talented than Alex Smith, but his success has been exponentially greater. Why is this???
Put simply, Drew Brees has reached a greater potential than Alex Smith because he takes risks. He stretches beyond his comfort zone and he trusts his preparation. Brees will throw the ball downfield in expectation of achieving the big play; a quick score or large chunk of yards that sets up the score.
That sounds like a lot of sports chatter, but the reality  is we are each confronted with the same decision on our Christian walk. Will we stretch the field and go deeper in our walk with God like Drew Brees? Can we trust the sermons and teaching we have learned when it’s time to face the tests and trials of life?? Or do we shrink back an say I’m good where I am with God. Church on Sunday is enough and I don’t need to tell others about God. I mean we don’t normally say that aloud, but that’s what our actions say. We choose the safe route, to be Christian up until the point it makes us uncomfortable.

I’m choosing to stretch. I want God’s very best and that won’t be found in my comfort zone. I’m letting go of my fandom.  I don’t want to just hear about Jesus and his great works. I’m Following him so I can experience His great Works. Will you commit to following him no matter the cost??? I’ll warn you, it isn’t safe, but there’s no limit to what God can do in you and through you if you’re willing to let him cal the plays!!

Drew Brees Stretches Across the goal line – Are we stretching in our walk  with the Lord?

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