Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hank Aaron and Vision

Yesterday I attended a chapel service.  Roger Lewis of Life Church in North Richland Hills spoke, on having vision.  This is an area where I probably could use help in-I tend to have a hard time seeing what could-be.  I normally see things through current circumstances or situations.

Pastor Lewis’ main scripture reference was Hebrews 12:1-3:  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
After reading the scripture, he talked about Hank Aaron, the homerun king from the 1960’s.  He said that when Hank was in the dugout watching his teammates bat, he would take off his hat and cover his face with it, blocking out everything around him, but looking through the holes in the hat to concentrate on the pitchers moves.  He would look for any minor differences in the pitchers movements to tell what type of pitch was being thrown.  Then when it was time for Hank to bat, he would know what type of pitch was coming at him, and he would be better prepared to swing at the ball.  And it worked-in his 23 seasons of baseball, he hit 755 homeruns.  Hank Aaron had vision, and it made him the best.

Pastor Lewis went on with his lesson by explaining that when you don’t have vision, life can become chaos.  The scripture passage tells us where vision should begin (“let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”):  God determines our vision, helps us walk through the course of getting to the vision, and helps us to finally achieve it.  In order to follow this vision, though, we have to do several things.

1-“Throw off everything that hinders”.  Throwing off is a violent action by us-don’t expect God to just take our hindrances away-we have to throw them off.  The examples of hindrances he gave were bank accounts, jobs, and anything that could potentially keep us pre-occupied.  He said that hindrances are not necessarily sin or bad things in general-but they become hindrances by the way we allow them to take over our lives.

2-“…and the sin that so easily entangles”.  We need to throw off sin, too.  But, in that process, realize that where you no longer can’t, God can!  Rely on Him.  Deal with the ugliness of sin.  Confess your sin, and then release it (by forgiving yourself).  Isaiah 53:6 says:  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  1 John 1:9 tells us:  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

3- “…run with perseverance the race..”  Do it with urgency!  Do it for the long haul-when you get knocked down, get up and do it again!  Think about football players who get knocked down over and over, but yet keep getting up and doing it again and again.  1 Timothy 4:16 says:  Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Think of your race as a contest-it’s not always easy, but you can do it again.  Run the race God has marked for you.  Deal with your hindrances and your sin, and you will keep the vision God has given you.

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