I played basketball all through elementary, middle, and high school. I just loved the game. I even took it with me a bit to college (UT Coed Champs of 1999….My 15 minutes of fame). In middle school I had this coach, Coach Kolwaski, who made me do a certain drill every time I missed a free throw. You know the one where you have to literally stand directly under the basket and with one hand shoot until you make 3 consecutive baskets.
Once you accomplished that, then you could take one step back and continue the drill until you reach the blessed line (the free throw line, just in case I had already lost some of you) that started the whole wrist numbing ordeal. If at any time you missed a shot you went back to the VERY BEGINNING…under the basket. Needless to say this drill had the potential to take a while.
I loved Coach K. I loved him because his intent was not to demonstrate his authority over my life, but was simply a means to develop the mechanics of the game. The difference between shooting out of reflex verses out of sheer attempt. “Repetition and form” he would say, “Repetition and form”.
If I wanted to be a good shooter, it required that I go beyond my “gift” and develop skill. It didn’t land me my childhood dream of becoming the first woman to play for the Harlem Globetrotter’s, but it instilled character and the wisdom that our bodies need to be trained.
Our mouths need to be trained
I love how the Lord uses examples from our lives to give us better understanding of what He talks about in scripture. Much like the training I learned while playing basketball, the Holy Spirit continues to teach me about the power of my tongue and its need to be trained.
Luke 6:45 says “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks”
Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”
These verses not only link my very character and heart to the words that I would choose to say, but also connect the role they play in the physical and spiritual realities of my life. My mouth can only speak the thoughts and beliefs of my heart.
Have you asked the Lord to search and know your heart and tell you if He finds anything that is not of Him? (Psalms 139: 23-24). Are you in a place of peace or anxiety over your life’s current circumstances? Are your words playing a role in how you are able to view the Lord’s word over your life?
Praying through Hebrews
As in Part 1 of this series of blogs, I wanted to help practically walk with you in praying through scriptures in Hebrews that the Holy Spirit highlighted during my studies. Verses that He used to help reveal His character and promises when I chose to speak them out in faith and obedience.
Hebrews 4:11-12 says “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience (Israelites in the wilderness). For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and joint and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
My spoken prayers went something like this:
- Lord, thank you that your words are not old and only for those who lived long ago, but they are alive and active and powerful.
- Rest is a promise from your very character, and even though my circumstances might not change that does not determine if I can find and stay in your rest.
- I want to be obedient to You Lord, and even though I know you already know this, I just want to tell you that you can do whatever you want to do in my life and heart to help me know your rest.
- It is so crazy amazing that you talk about this rest and then go straight to talking about the power of your word and how it is living and breathing and active to my heart today.
- God I want your words and your words alone to pierce through my spirit and soul. To separate all that I thought that I knew about You, and all that I thought that I knew about who I am in You.
- You are a God of truth. I want your truth more than I want mine. Holy Spirit keep working to reveal truth to my very heart so that I can see the things that are in my very thoughts and heart that are not in line with your truth.
- I need your word God. I love your word God. It is my joy to speak your word. I choose life.