I used to play a lot of baseball when I was young and have been a crazy fan of the game since. I really didn’t have much choice. Both my Dad and Mom as well as my brother and sister are all fanatical about the game. This evening, less than four weeks from a hip replacement, what do you think that I will be doing? Yep, my wife, Pam (a baseball fanatic also 😊), and I are planning to physically watch the TX Rangers MLB baseball team play this evening…an hour trip each way with the game lasting probably more than three hours. By the way, the Rangers are the 4th worst team in baseball. Evatt, are you are crazy?! Busted!
As a Christ follower, I am a member of another team, Team Jesus. The Coach on this team is the Holy Spirit, who is a wonderful teacher, counselor, and motivator. For you to play on this team and contribute, you have to be filled with the Holy Spirit, not living life in the flesh (Ephesians 5:18). When filled, like baseball, you will discover that there are nine “players” or “fruit” for everyone on this team. Galatians 5:22&23 lists the “fruit”, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” If you are being the contributor that God wants you to be, your life will have these nine fruit playing on the field all day long.
If your life does not reflect the “fruit of the Holy Spirit”, you will keep Team Jesus from being effective. In fact, it gives Team Flesh a great chance to ridicule and jeer you belly laughing out loud calling you a “hypocrite”. Galatians 5:24 explains to us what could make us ineffective as a player, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” On Team Jesus there is no place for the “flesh” as well as its fruit, “passions and desires”. In fact, Jesus took the flesh on the cross with Him so that we do not have to live a defeated life but can experience the power of “Coach” Holy Spirit moment by moment. Galatians 2:20 explains it this way, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Jesus has made it possible for us to live victoriously.
Team Jesus, listen to the last coaching tips in Galatians 5:25&26, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other.” Allow the Holy Spirit to continue to teach you daily “keeping in step” with Him. For sure, as a team player, do not become “conceited” and do not “provoke” or “envy” your teammates. If you do, your team will become ineffective.
As believers in Jesus, “How’s Your Team Playing?” It’s up to you. Are you back in the flesh or have you died to self, “keeping in step with the Spirit”? Look at the fruit. It is a beautiful thing when the fruit of the Spirit are evident. It glorifies Jesus and transforms our world.