Drawn Back In – Matt Holliday

September 13, 2016

Baseball is a unique game because there is a lot of failure involved. It’s a sport that always brings me back to my knees.


When things are going really well, my stats are high, I’m playing at my highest level, and my team is winning, it’s easy to think that I am accomplishing a lot. It’s then that I begin to think that I’m the one doing it all—I begin to think, “I’ve got this.”


But it’s often during those times that I find myself the furthest away from where I need to be. Getting caught up in how well I’m doing by the world’s standards, I tend not to focus on my constant need for God. When I lean into the praise I’m getting from fans and teammates, my heart begins to harden toward the Spirit of God.


Thankfully, baseball—the humbling game that it is—is quick to bring me back to the realization that this is not about me. This game, and this life, is about so much more than my own stats and successes. The way that I am able to stay grounded in my faith and reliance on God is through constantly feeding myself with God’s Word. As I read His truth, pray through Scripture, and surround myself with the community of God’s people, I am drawn back into the truthful perspective that God is in control. By praying for my wife, my kids, and the will of God, I am able to stay humble before God and open to what He has to teach me.


As I read through the Word of God, I’m continually reminded of the great grace and mercy that God extends to us. Even Jesus’ disciples needed grace—a lot of grace. I’m encouraged to know that this is not a new struggle and that God has mercy on us time and time again.


Even Peter, the man who said that He would never leave Jesus’ side, denied Him not once, or even twice, but three times! And as we read on, there are many examples of men after God’s own heart that screwed up. But God, in His faithfulness, draws us back to Him with forgiveness. In fact, Jesus says that He came for the worst of us.


“Jesus said to them, ’It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” —Mark 2:17


It’s encouraging to know that even the very men who were closest to Jesus—who walked with Him—were the same people, with the same stories, that we are today.


If we don’t read about God and grow to understand the nature of God, we will be tempted to fix our eyes on ourselves. When we experience who God is and the love that He has for us, getting to know the true character of the Father through His Word, we will be strengthened in our faith. Through the stories in the Bible we can read about real people who God used, despite their faults, to do His work.


“Our Gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.” —1 Thessalonians 1:5


When you fuel yourself with the truth of God’s Word, you will be drawn back to Him.


—Matt Holliday


Matt Holliday is a regular contributor of The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.


Check out Matt’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/mattholliday/


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