Both my South African granddaughters play netball. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to watch some of their games. A team consists of seven girls. The object is to pass the ball from the centre to the shooter who, ideally, shoots it into the net.
Meanwhile the opposing team runs interference to try to intercept the ball and pass it to their own shooter. When one team is a lot stronger than the other, goals are scored at a rapid rate and scores like 40 to 0 can occur. However when the teams are more evenly matched, the ball shuttles from one side to the other with goal scoring happening at a much slower rate.
This reminds me of our attempts to carry out the Great Commission. We know what the goal is and we work together as a team. As Paul says, “ I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-8 NIV) There may be some very talented players in a team but no matter how good a shooter is, unless the rest of the team works together to pass her the ball, no goals will be scored.
Just like in a netball game, there is opposition running interference. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings..” (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV) We need to be alert, keep our mind on the game and stand firm.
Fortunately we know that we are on the stronger team so although our progress may be slow by worldly standards, Christ has already won the battle and our victory is assured.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You have won the victory. Please help me to keep my eye on the ball, stand firm and be alert. May my life be lived to Your glory. Amen.