I hope in 10, 20 years, when I’m happily married with multiple kids living in a suburban home with a flat screen TV (with NFL Sunday Ticket) I can look back at September 9, 2013 as a date that changed my life. Why? Everything finally feels like it came full circle.
For a while, I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut in my spiritual life. Ever get to that moment where you want to feel the presence of God and want to get closer to his son, but you really don’t want to? For example, I can cry out to God during praise and worship at church on Wednesday or Sunday, be on my knees bowing down, lifting my hands, etc., and after I leave the service my feeling of apathy has came back. During the week, of course after I have checked my social media accounts and fantasy baseball team, I’ll make room for God, open my Word, and it’s like…”Wait. I really don’t want to be doing this right now.” I want to be close to you God, I just don’t want to read my Word right now. And then, after half heartily reading a passage of Scripture, I’ll feel bad about not wanting to read. I’ll feel as though it’s more of a chore instead of something I WANT to do. Know what I mean?
My roommate gave the four of us guys in our suite a sports devotional book called “Wisdom Walks Sports” by Dan Britton & Jimmy Page. I’ve got at least 2-3 once a day sports devotionals in my room at home that I’ve read on occasion before. Of course, only when I feel like it. But this book is different, and I noticed it immediately.
Two days ago, the writer was talking about the routine of an athlete and what his training looks like. 95% of his time he spends playing his sport is spent training; working out to get stronger, running to strengthen his endurance, you get the point; while only 5% of his time is spent on the field of play itself. To be exact, these are the words of the writer: “Over 95 percent of an athlete’s time is spent training and less than 5 percent competing.”
Quick question: Have you ever heard a word or message before, and I’m not saying it even has to be Biblical/spiritual, and after hearing it from a different person or medium, it just clicked? Like it could be something that your old man has told you for years and you just blow it by, and you hear someone else say it and you ponder on it for a second, really getting the point.
This is where I had that moment. The writer then goes on: “Spiritually speaking, most of us spend very little time training.” Isn’t it the truth? We spend, as he says, “99 percent of our time living and less than 1 percent of our time training.” One of my favorite rappers is KB of Reach Records. One of his songs is called “Battlefield” and one of the lines repeated in the song is “This life is a battlefield.” To me, this was just a cool line, nothing much more. I knew what it meant but it didn’t hit me like it does now.
Guys, we are in a WAR, for ETERNITY. This isn’t just something that if we lose we say “Oh well, we gave it our best try. We can get them next time.” Do you ever sit back like I do and ponder what eternity really is? It’s infinite. It has no beginning, and it has no ending. Heaven and Hell are outside the time-space continuum.
Ephesians 6:12-“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Every day we walk out the door, we are entering a war zone. It’s time to build ourselves up. Why is it we just want to live, we don’t want to train? Since I read even that single line of how we spend “99 percent of our time living and 1 percent training”, my heart has been disturbed and my hunger for Christ increased. It’s like the light in my brain started dinging and going crazy. We must build ourselves up every single day with the Word of God and the Love of Christ. We must train like we’re running a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-26) and fight to the finish.
One of my favorite verses and one that gets overlooked in Scripture because of the verse 2 spots ahead of it is Jeremiah 29:13. We read Jeremiah 29:11 and close our Bibles. Keep reading.
Jeremiah 29:13-“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
It’s not enough to do a devotion once a week. Going to church on Wednesday and Sunday doesn’t make you a Christian more than standing in a parking garage makes you a car. Jesus Christ didn’t die on a cross for you to live a halfhearted life. It’s hard. Christians daily are being persecuted for their faith all around the world. Paul put it blatantly in 2 Timothy 2:3 when he notes “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
Eternity. As I conclude this post, take one minute to think of that word. Thank you for your time.