The one thing I don’t miss about my old baseball life is the road trips, especially the Triple-A ones. The early morning flights, the hotel check-in process (which would often be long and shoddy), the bad sleep, the fast food, the new environment. There was just something different about playing at home.
At home, my wife and kids are there with me, I’m in my own bed, I eat food at my own place, and I’m used to the environment and field. On top of all that, we had our home fans cheering us on. Home field advantage is real!
In fact, statistical data shows that across all major sports (football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer), the home team can be expected to win 5-10% more often than on the road or at a neutral site. Home is home! And having a large group of people cheering you on often causes teams to far outplay their actual ability.
Why am I telling you this? Well, the Bible says that YOU have an audience cheering you on, everyday.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NLT
Nothing you do is private. You have an audience. Heaven is watching. But that’s not meant to freak you out. It should encourage you, because it means you have a cheering section, all day long! The Bible says that everyone in heaven is cheering you on.
We know that God knows everything. The Bible says, “The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth” (2 Chronicles 16:9 KJV). The Lord doesn’t miss a thing. He knows your ups and your downs, every thought you have, every concern, every victory—everything.
But you’re also surrounded by “a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith.” Moses is watching you. Abraham is watching you. Every believer who has ever lived is in the stands watching you live out your faith.
And they’re cheering you on. When you’re scared, they’re rooting for you to be courageous. When you want to give up, they’re urging you to keep going. When you feel insignificant and forgotten, they’re in your corner.
Everyone at some point feels like no one believes in them, like they can’t seem to get a break or do anything right. When you feel like that, remember you’re never alone. Your heavenly cheering squad believes you can do hard things with God’s help. And I believe knowing that can cause us to “outplay” what our normal abilities are.
Thanks to all for the Pastor’s Appreciation love this past week. Portia and I LOVE this church, and all of you. It really is a joy to serve here. Feeling really appreciated!