As I proceeded to pump gas into the van, the gas station TV came on the screen of the pump to give me some of the latest trendy news and trivia. Some stations have this service provided. In the category of sports, the announcer told how such and such player stole a home run from a hitter. I then watched as a major league player knocked a ball deep into the outfield with the ball about to just clear the top of the fence. The running outfielder jumped up with all that he had with arm extended up as far as he could reach, and with his body slamming into the back fence, he made the catch, stopping the ball from going over the fence. What an awesome catch! What a demonstration of training, focus, timing, and total commitment.
That’s what it takes to get the things of the kingdom of God. Jesus said unless we forsake all and take up our cross (death to self) daily, we cannot be his disciple (Luke 14: 26, 27, 33). The good news is that if we do let all things be subservient to the Lordship of Jesus, who is the Word, over our life, then we can do all things through Christ who is our strength. One of the most recent “things of the kingdom” was the healing of my back. After I had done what the doctor said to do and was still in pain, after a period of two weeks of boldly speaking the word of God out loud to my body to line up with what the word says, there was a breakthrough that has freed me up to this very moment of being pain free. The diagnosis was scoliosis, cartilage worn out from between the vertebra, and severe arthritis. The solution offered for the rest of my life was either to just grin and bear it, or go on a pain management program where I took drugs the rest of my life, or surgery. I did not want any of the three options. I got a word from God. “With violence” I applied the word to my body daily, like I would apply salve to a sore, speaking the word to my body out loud, with praise and thanksgiving for my deliverance. All I know is that I am pain free and have been that way for going on four months. But I’ll tell you what it took. It took some training, focus, time, and total commitment. I had to run after that ball with all my heart and strength, not thinking about any fence I might slam into. In Jesus’ name, I stole the home run of that condition of life, and I am still in the game with no pain. I understand the normal Christian life is a life of total commitment to doing it God’s way no matter what. Death to self, life in God’s power – that’s good.