Five seconds left on the shot clock. Who do you pass to? Who’s open? Or do you take the shot? Tick-tock goes the game clock while you stand frozen and ponder whether to stick with your coach’s prescribed plays or do you pivot—and make the unscripted play necessary to win the game? Somehow in all your years of training it has left you unprepared to perform in this critical, game day situation.
It’s game day folks!
A youth contemplating suicide right where you stand. Spiritual warfare in your home or work environment. A frantic call from someone desperately asking you, “Please pray for me now.” None of these game day scenarios allow you time to go to or call your church to ask how you should approach. In addition to using prayer as our weapon, in 2 Timothy 4:2, we’re instructed to “preach the word” and “be prepared in season or out of season.” Satan hasn’t given us the luxury of pondering. Satan doles out counterfeit schemes and lies like a deck of cards, one after the other, faster and more cunning than the one before, in hopes of trapping someone. As depicted to us in 1 Peter 5:8, we are warned: 8-Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Some have solely relied upon the Church to educate and equip them in their relationship with Christ. Many have become slothfully accustomed to Sunday services as a touch base with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Then they don’t seek the Lord beyond this. They don’t know the Lord’s voice for themselves. Where’s their prayer time? Where’s their study of God’s Word?
In basketball terms, “pivot” means “to turn, spin or shift with one foot firmly planted/one foot keeping contact with the floor; an offensive position to relay passes or shoot.” Basketball players on a team (whether high school, college, professional or not) are gifted with natural abilities that also come under a coach’s direction. Game plays and strategies direct their steps to victory, anticipating their opponents’ next moves, outwitting and driving past them to sink the ball into the basket. But sometimes certain plays require us to pivot—to go against game day traditional plays—to break away from patterns so we can make unanticipated moves, pivoting and rising to the game day situation presented to us in that very moment.
While many in the church embrace traditions and formalities, I wonder how many within the Body of Christ are ready for “game day,” however that game day scenario may present itself.
Churches are great for fellowship, hearing a Word, using our gifts and connecting with others in the Body of Christ. Though I urge you that even in attending church, to seek God’s Presence daily, hourly, regularly for yourself—to learn and apply His Word.
Pray/commune with Him regularly to hear His instructions for how He wants to equip you to serve the needs of today and tomorrow. His instructions may require you to break out of traditions, form and fashion, but this is the type of “peculiar” people He is seeking: bold, equipped, fearless, obedient, prayerful/know His voice, can pivot and at the ready.
Have the pews made you too comfortable for “game day?” Have formalities and traditions made you unable to pivot to the Holy Spirit’s leading? When the LORD says “GO,” do you hear him and are you prepared to respond to the urgency of this generation’s 11th-hour challenges? To serve unencumbered?
Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating “Voices Against the Grain” is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.