sidelines

When a player signs with a team, his goal and dream is to be able to perform on the front lines and show what he or she is capable of doing. Not one player signs a contract eager to warm up the bench or end up as the water boy. So why are some of us who belong on God's team so comfortable and satisfied with being on the sidelines? Why are we so complacent about being actively involved? Has apathy or the absence of passion flooded our churches and our homes?

Maybe a disappointment or a huge setback caused you to crawl back to the sidelines and perhaps run from what you know you are called to be. Maybe things got tough and nothing seemed to be going your way and giving up seemed like your best option at that time.

There will always be reasons and circumstances that will incite you to quit and cause you to give up and to back down, but regardless of what your situation is, you have to stay in the game and know God will take your setback and give you a comeback.

For many years, I got out of the game. I got caught up in drugs, followed emotions that deceived me and even struggled with an eating disorder. That’s when I asked, "Where are you, God?" And I heard these words: “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

The God of the universe goes before and has not abandoned you. Your life isn't over because you had a setback or because you came short of accomplishing something you had set your mind to do. Your life is only over if you choose to quit and give up (Deut. 31:6).

If you are considering throwing in the towel, the words in Deuteronomy 31:6 are powerful and can sustain you through any storm and hardship.

Let's not be on the sidelines, nursing our wounds, as some of us have a tendency of doing. Ruth stayed in the game after her husband was killed—talk about a life changing experience! She made a choice to stick with Naomi, who was also a widow, and didn't run back to the land of comfort. As a result, God honored her by giving her much more than what she had lost. Ruth’s life was changed forever because she chose to stay in the game.

The battle isn't over. More than ever, the body of Christ, the army of God, needs to remain sharp, alert and ready for battle.

Leave the sidelines to the cowards! Get ahold of Gods plan for your life and run with it. “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" (Rom. 8:31, NLT).

God can bring change to any situation or any problem we face if we allow Him. It’s our attitude toward that annoying thing that is holding us back that will determine our victory. You are either determined to win or lose.

The enemy of our souls will try to discourage us and tell us that it’s over—tell us that we are finished. But what does God say to you, saints? Read the Word and find Scriptures pertaining to your unique problem or situation. Your roadmap to victory is found in the Word of God. It’s our responsibility to read it, apply it, stand on it and see it manifest in our lives.

You and I are key players in this game. The field is ready for us to take our place. Will history say we fought, or will it say that we were cowards?

I am still under construction—the closer I get to Him, the more He reveals who He created me to be. I am no longer searching for my identity because everything I need is found in Him, and everything I am is because of Him.

Janet Boynes, author of Called Out: A Former Lesbian’s Discovery of Freedom (Creation House), ministers around the world in churches and conferences, helping others find freedom in Christ. For more about her ministry, visit janetboynesministries.com.

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