Between the Stands and the Field

“You could read volumes on the work of the Holy Spirit, when five minutes of total, uncompromising obedience would make things as clear as sunlight.” – Oswald Chambers

Sometimes I think my interaction with Holy Spirit is like being a football fan versus a football player.

One of the reasons I love autumn so much is because it is football season. I have never even been to a professional football game but I have spent countless hours jumping up and down, yelling at refs that couldn’t hear me and telling players how they are doing. I watch intently and listen to the play-by-plays. I compliment and criticize. When it is all over, if my team won, I gloat and revel in the victory.

Sometimes I stand in the crowd when Holy Spirit is working and I jump up and down, get excited, or scream and shout. Other times I step back and analyze, like giving a play-by-play I take in all that is happening so I can adequately tell the story later or so I can critique it all in my effort to understand what is really going on. I watch and listen, compliment and criticize. When it is all over, I rejoice with others around me.

The problem?

In both scenarios I am nothing but a spectator, standing on the sidelines. Close to all the action, surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells but still at a distance, safe, not really involved.

I am also a visual tactile learner, meaning I have to see it AND do it or get my hands on it for it to make sense or for it to stick. I can read the directions to a game all day long but if I don’t actually get in the  middle of it I never really understand and it is never any fun.

There is a huge difference between cheering in the stands and being in the game, getting tackled, bruised, and hit. The playing field can be brutal. It is challenging. Things don’t always go the way you planned. But it is also exciting. There is reward for the suffering and there is a special bond between those who are on the field. In the end, the victory really means something because you were part of it.

muddy football
Photo by Vince Petaccio

What’s my point? I can study, seek out, analyze and hang around places where the Spirit is moving, but if I don’t step out in obedience to what He has already revealed I will always just be on the sidelines cheering. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of living on the sidelines. I don’t want to just read about miracles, I want to be one of the ones praying for them and seeing them become reality. I don’t want to just cheer on people who are bringing the Kingdom to earth, I want to be part of bringing Kingdom to earth.

How about you? Are you cheering from the sidelines or are you in the game? Are you a fan of Holy Spirit or part of His team?