My niece has a thing she says when she gets busted telling stories.
She doesn’t say it, she actually hollers, “For real! I’m not kidding!
We never tell her that we know she says that when she’s telling stories. So she gives herself away every time. We admonish her, but sometimes, when she is out of earshot, we find it hilarious that she would insist in this way.
We’ve told her that she can’t run the same games on us that her mom and I ran on my mom or my Grandma. And then I understood why both my mom and Grandma would tell us, “I was young once, you know” when we told stories. They’ve seen this movie before. They’ve played those games.
It makes me think about how maturity (often) grows you out of telling stories to get out of trouble.
And then, naturally, I thought about how we deal with God.
What we say: Jesus, if you get me out of this (speeding ticket, relationship, job, money problem, etc.), I promise I won’t do it again.
What Jesus hears: For real! I’m not kidding!
And like our parents and grandparents, Jesus has seen these plays before. He made the court. He chose the players. And, He calls the plays. He’s the Coach. HE KNOWS THE GAME!
Don’t Play Yourself
Do you remember in John 8:7 when the men wanted to stone the woman for adultery and Jesus bent down and started writing stuff in the dirt? Right before He told them the one who was without sin should throw the first stone?
I have varying thoughts on what Jesus wrote, depending on the point I am making. But check this out. Coaches rely on certain plays for the team to win. There are offensive plays and defensive plays. He marks out the players, differentiating between offense and defense. O for Offense, X for Defense.
I’m thinking Jesus was looking at His playbook and seeing how He would reposition everyone for this play to work. I mean, it’s not like He had a tablet and stylus. He had dirt and a finger. So, He looked at the plan and announced the play. Why? Because those Pharisees thought they would trap Jesus about the Law. But He cannot be played (manipulated).
I think about this and how much I wanted my life to change. So, I halfheartedly went to church (late) – not to worship but to ask for stuff. Not to praise, but to seek relief. I praised and worshipped with my mouth and hands, but my heart wasn’t changing. I was lying. So, nothing changed until I stopped trying to play games with God.
Have you ever realized that you can change friends, jobs, boyfriends, spouses, clothes, hairstyles – but you’ll keep having the same problems?
Lies Limit Your Game – Be Honest
It occurred to me in hindsight that it’s not until we stop lying to God about our commitment to Him that our lives will actually change. It’s when our hearts will be healed. It’s when we will attract the good that we so desperately seek. It’s when we accept that we are imperfect in our own strength, but made perfect through Him. It’s when we realize that His love for us surpasses any love we will ever encounter.
My niece, the same one who also happens to be a wise old lady on the inside, told me one day, “Auntie. God made us. So He knows us.” And I remembered another woman of the Bible – the Woman at the Well who had five husbands and a live-in Boo thang. She said, “I met a man who told me everything about me.”
And that’s why I don’t get angry with my niece about those things. Because God, El Roi – the God who sees me, has been so gracious by not giving me what I deserve for some of the crazy things I’ve done.
As my niece reminded me and now I remind you – God knows every little thing about you. It’s comforting now. But, when I was Eve in the garden, trying to cover myself (lie) because I was naked, it was terrifying.
Lying to yourself is a sign of immaturity. That immaturity keeps us stuck in a cycle of trying to plant new seeds in poor soil. It keeps us covering ourselves in the garden, not from modesty, but from shame. Nothing can grow from it.
My question for you today, is this: Are you sowing God’s truth into your lives? Are you allowing Jesus to be the Coach of your life?
You don’t have to answer to me, obviously. But, you have the responsibility of answering to the Coach.
Remember that – He already knows the plays. So even if we holler, “For real! I’m not playing!” He’ll know if we really mean it or not.
So, what’s the play call?
Galatians 6:7 says, “God cannot be mocked. As a man sows, so he shall also reap.”
If we look at it from a father-child relationship in the natural, our parents would often say to us before we went out: “Don’t embarrass me.”
So, I would suggest you ask yourself the following:
- Am I trying to fool God? And why?
- Am I making my Father look like a fool?
- Am I sowing His seeds of truth into my life?
- Will my actions reap good things? Or, will they reap discord and distress?
And, if the answer is yes to any of those questions, it’s time to make a decision.