Obedient Faith Frees Us

I did not get it. I did not see that through obeying in faith God could change me drastically from the inside out.

Let’s rewind. A year ago, my children began team sports for the firs time at age 10 and 7 (okay, the 10-year-old did have 1 miserable season of soccer at age 5 where he pretty much refused to play at all). A year ago, it wasn’t stressful. It was fun. We won some games, we lost some games. I was in a good space mentally and emotionally. Somewhere between then and about a month ago, I became this crazy, competitive parent at the basketball games. Even if I did not yell, I thought A LOT OF NEGATIVE THINGS. Last season we lost–were killed–every single game. There was not a chance that we could win any of the games, yet I was an angry human being nevertheless. I was miserable. I was enslaved by my sin.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us. We have the power of God in us. We are free. With the Holy Spirit we can resist our sin once we recognize that power in us.

Let me clarify, sanctification is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus while we are on earth. This process cannot be completed this side of heaven. I will always sin; however, my sin will likely change as the Holy Spirit works in me and helps me overcome the sins I bring to Him.

I had never brought this specific sin to Him. I asked for help with anger in general, but I needed to ask for this specific situation. I needed to bring it to Him and allow Him to take me through it.

I have never been a good sport. I have sinned in anger over games (card games, board games, etc.) for most of my life. I am competitive. I have worked hard to not be competitive. I will say that again. I have worked hard to not be competitive. I. Alone. I never invited the Holy Spirit to assist me. I used coping strategies and wrote Bible verses on my hand. I did pray about the games, but I didn’t pray for a heart change, just a behavior change.

This year in BSF, we are studying the book of Romans. While sitting at a leader’s meeting a couple of weeks ago, I had an aha moment. Romans 6 talks about how by being crucified with Christ, we are no longer enslaved to sin. I am to present myself to God as one who has been brought from death to life and offer my body to God as an instrument of righteousness. I wrote in my Bible on November 18th, “Allow God to free you from the crazy competitiveness that leads you to sin at basketball games, Laura-Jane!” I prayed for God to write chapter 6:7 on my heart: “For one who has died has been set free from sin.”

Yesterday morning we had the first basketball games of the new season. I have had a couple of weeks to pray hard for God to change my heart towards all aspects of this situation. Do I even need to tell you what happened? Or do you already know?

The Holy Spirit worked in me. I didn’t get mad once! I found myself saying some comments out loud–nothing negative, just things like, “Reaching, traveling, double-dribble,” etc. I stopped myself from even doing that by praying.

Satan wants me to think of the parents and kids from the other team as the enemies. They are not. God loves them as much as He loves me. I found myself compelled to cheer for the other team even–PS, God placed that on my heart last season and I resisted because I didn’t want to at all.

I share this because God is AMAZING. I did not think this was possible. The other parents were shocked too. My husband was shocked. I cannot take any credit. God gets all the glory.

So… what sin are you allowing to enslave you? What sin are you not wanting to offer to the Holy Spirit? Why is that? If you don’t know why, pray and ask for God to reveal the answer. He will. Trust me.