In our house everyone loves playing ball games. Even our golden retriever (when she is in the mood) loves a game of throw, catch, and, then, refuse to give the ball back!
I don’t know how you feel about ball games? Perhaps you were first or last to be picked at school because of your throwing and catching abilities (or lack thereof), but I know, in my life, I’ve got really good at catching certain things and quickly batting other things away.
How often does someone pay you a compliment or speak a word of encouragement and you quickly swat it away? Maybe not externally – on the outside we smile sweetly and appear thankful, but inside our old habits kick into motion. Taking that great big baseball bat of self-doubt and negativity, with one swipe, away goes the compliment. So quickly and without much awareness, off goes the gift sailing across the skies, never having had a chance to settle in our lives and bring encouragement.
With the same analogy, how quickly do we jump at offences and discouragements, grabbing hold of them mid-flight and sinking them deep into our hearts?
God has so many words of truth and life to speak into our hearts, so much truth in Scripture that, given half the chance to sink into our hearts, can change us forever, scriptures like; ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’, ‘I have chosen you and not rejected you’, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’. How easy it is to get really good at batting away even God’s truth and His words of life and hope! We can say to ourselves, “Oh that sounds so nice! But it isn’t really how God feels about me”. The truth is God has so much love in His heart that He wants to reveal to us - so much more that He wants to speak over and into us of who we are, our worth, our value, our destiny. Will we allow ourselves to catch it and take hold of what He’s saying, even when it doesn’t match how we feel about ourselves?
In equal measure, how easy it can be to grab and take hold of every word of fear, hopelessness and discouragement from the enemy and man’s soulishness.
I encourage you, and myself, today, to be careful what we bat off and what we catch and hold on to. Let’s not live only by the patterns and habits we’ve learnt from years of experience of only embracing the rubbish, but let’s agree to listen to the Lord and start to allow His truth to change us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You do have a love for me that’s bigger than I can ever comprehend or imagine. I’m sorry, Lord, for limiting what You want to speak into my life to only that which I feel I deserve or has been proved to be true. Please teach me to take hold of and grasp more of what You’re saying about me and Your truth, and to be careful what I bat away. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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