Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Guard What's Entrusted

2 Timothy 1:14 NLT – “With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you.”
I am a football fan.  Not a fanatic, but I do enjoy watching a good football game or two on a Sunday afternoon.  I watch the Super Bowl with mixed emotions – it’s the big game, but it also signals the end of the football season.
I use football as an analogy because of something I’d noticed quite a bit this football season.  For some reason, quite a few of the passes from the quarterbacks were dropped (or penalized as incomplete) because whoever was receiving the passes wasn’t pulling the ball in sufficiently to keep it from popping out and either falling to the ground, or being taken away by the opposing team.  These players weren’t guarding what was entrusted to them! 
The quarterback has to make a quick decision as to which player he’s going to throw the ball to, all the while keeping an eye on the various defensive players, rushing both at him and at the players he’s trying to get the ball to.  Sound familiar?
Although the Holy Spirit has known since before the beginning of time to whom He can entrust the precious gift of His Word, He still keeps an eye on both us and the enemy, watching over us like a hen brooding over her chicks, ready to come to our aid or defense at a moment’s notice.    As with Job, the enemy wants to get at us, but still has to ask permission of the Lord for how far he can go.  Once he gets in our ear, he will stop at nothing to convince us to leave the safety of the Lord’s camp and venture out into the outer darkness and the dangers found therein.
That’s why it’s so important to guard what’s entrusted to us.  If we constantly keep an eye and mind on the gift placed in our care, if we bind it around our necks and write it on the tablet of our hearts, if we meditate on it day and night, that is, in essence, “pulling it in” and keeping it safe, away from the marauding attacks of the enemy. 
Now, just like in football, guarding what is entrusted to us doesn’t stop the opposing team from jumping on us, knocking us senseless, damaging the protective gear and sometimes the parts the gear is supposed to protect.  But that is, in essence, what living this life in Christ is all about.  At the end, it’s not about us, but about what we did with what was entrusted to us. 
We may get knocked down a few times, but our goal, our job, is to hold on to the Word, guard it with all our might, at all costs.  Jesus told us that in this life we will have trouble, but we were to be of good courage because He overcame the world.  That means that we are going to experience setbacks of varying degrees, but that we must not lose heart.  Refer to the beginning of the focal scripture: “With the help of the Holy Spirit…”  We can guard what’s entrusted to us because we aren’t alone in this fight.  We have the best armament anyone could hope for, and the best physician to get us on our feet again when we fail to use it right, or misstep.
Just because we have the “ball,” we automatically become a target for the opposing team, so know that this game of life in Christ is not going to be a bed of roses with peaches and cream dreams.  We are going to get knocked down, talked about, abused, misused, some martyred, some diseased,  but keep looking toward the Great Day, our Super Bowl, when we get our crowns (so much better and longer-lasting than a Lombardi trophy).  The trials and tests will be worth it because we win.  Refer to The Playbook, WE WIN!!!!
Meditate on His Word.  Discuss it with other saints.  Pray about what you don’t understand.  Trust God when He doesn’t immediately answer.  Learn from your mistakes.  Don’t sit on your gift, use it.  When you fall, get up again, don’t just lie there; you’re only defeated if you don’t try to get back up.  Let the Holy Spirit be your guide through it all; He knows where you’re going, especially when you don’t.  These are all ways to hone your gifts, your knowledge, your understanding, and aid you to guard what is entrusted to you all the better.  Remember, God doesn’t make mistakes; if He entrusted something to you, then He has also equipped you to guard it, and guard it well.
Again, remember the focal scripture that reminds us that the Holy Spirit lives within us and is there to help us at any given moment to guard what is entrusted to us.
Now get out there and play some “football!”

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