Play Like Hank!

When I was a kid, I loved sports (still do!). If you could throw it, kick it, catch it, or hit it, I played it. Knowing my passion, my pastor at that time used a very applicable way to teach me what being filled with the Holy Spirit looks like. Growing up outside of Atlanta, GA, at that time the baseball icon was “Hammering” Hank Aaron. I can still tell you where I was when he hit the 714th HR beating Babe Ruth’s long held homerun record. My pastor asked the question, “What if I demanded you to start playing ball like Hank Aaron? I want you to swing the bat like Hank. I want the ball to start jumping off your bat like the ball jumps Hank’s bat. I want you to play the field just like Hank…so smooth that it seems effortless. And, when a guy tries to take an extra base on you, I want you to gun him down just like Hank. I want you to run the bases just like Hank…” And on and on my pastor went. “What if I asked you to play like Hank?” It didn’t take me long to realize that there was absolutely no way that I could play like Hank. I don’t care how much effort I put into it…no matter how many hours I practiced…no matter how many hours I studied video. I would never play like Hank.
Then, my pastor asked me what would happen if some way Hank Aaron could take over my body and start playing baseball through me. I told him that I would start looking like Hank. “The ball would jump off my bat like Hank. I would make plays in the field like Hank. I would run the bases like Hank.” “Why is that asked my pastor?” I answered, “Because Hammering Hank is actually doing it in and through me.”
My pastor then made the transition to the Bible. He told me that the I am supposed to live life just like Jesus. When people see me, they will see His love, His faith, His service, etc. However, just like with Hank, I will come to the same conclusion that in my abilities I can’t. It’s impossible. Then he said that God has made it possible that Jesus can live His life, His love, His service, etc. in and through me. It wasn’t going to me. It was going to be Him. “You can look like Jesus.” However, you will have to die to yourself and allow Him to take control of your life.
A bit silly maybe but my pastor was very wise. Paul the Apostle commands us “to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit”, One just like Jesus (Eph. 5:18). He tells us in Galatians 2:20, “ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” He tells us in Galatians 5 that we can evidence the very fruit of His Spirit if we live by faith. In other words…We Look and Live Like Jesus!

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