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Spiritual Training Cycle: Perspective (wk. 6/13)

Of all the sports I’ve ever played, kickball is my least favorite. First, I must tell you my athletic career wasn’t exactly budding in elementary school. I was the kid who was already wearing “husky” jeans if you know what I mean. And back then, we even wore jeans to play kickball. Talk about nuts! But I digress. The reason for my disdain has less to do with the game and more to do with the post-traumatic stress I suffered just getting onto the field. The process began with our P.E. teacher selecting captains. Then we would all be directed to stand in a line and like draft day in the NFL, those who knew they were going in the first round were all smiles. As captains made their choices, the number of people in the line began to dwindle, and inevitably, it would finally be just one lonely kid who knew he sucked at kickball. Yeah, that was me. Reluctantly, my soon to be captain would kind of utter under his breath, “we got Steele.” The game could now begin because we had chosen teams.

If you belong to a gym, you belong to a team. Some of you might belong to large gyms whose membership is huge. Planet Fitness for example averages about 7,500 members per location. If you belong to a gym like that, you probably don’t get the sense you’re on a team. But in community fitness gyms, the team is everything. You all wear the gear, you promote your team on social media, and you bond with one another through suffering, support, and celebration. The gym is not a place, it is the people. This is your team!

In our pursuit of spiritual fitness, we also belong to a team. We belong to Team Jesus. Unlike my trauma in kickball, joining Team Jesus is completely the opposite. God isn’t looking for the best talent or the quickest wit or the fastest runner. He wants your heart. And when you put your faith in Him, you are rescued from death, raised to life, and permanently known as a child of God. That’s the team to be on right there! But does the world know which team you’re on? In the same way you wear the gear and sing the praises of your coaches and athletes, do you do the same with God? The world should know which team you’re on by the way you worship.

Worship is the giving of our entire self, our thoughts, and our emotions, to God’s use. It’s a state of our heart. The word itself means, “the quality of being worthy.” When we worship, we are saying that God is worthy. He is worthy of our praise. Praise from both our bodies and our souls. The result, or effect, of worship is a renewal of the mind, transforming us more and more into the image of Christ. Today’s Scripture call us to, “declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light.”

One of the best ways to do that is through song. I’ve always been a big music guy. So, when I joined Team Jesus, I dove right into the genre known as worship. What started as listening to Christian radio in my car has morphed into a curated playlist I maintain on Apple Music as well as Spotify. You can find it by searching, “The Hope Project Worship.” One of my anthem jams is a song called, “Now Here” by Red Rocks Worship. Check out the video…

One of the verses I can’t stop singing says:

I see joy rising,

I hear hope calling,

I see fear hiding,

I hear chains falling.

Let the world know you’re on Team Jesus. Leave no doubt in anyone’s mind who it is you are living for. And spend some time today declaring the praises of the one who called you into the light. Worship is life changing.

Questions for Reflection:

Is listening to worship music a regular part of your spiritual exercise? How is it integrated into your life?

How do people know you’re on God’s team?

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