So, I know you’re probably wondering what in the world I’m talking about. Well, let me explain so that you can get an accurate answer for your self examination. When I say “string,” I’m speaking in terms of a team line up. Today, in our world, there are a myriad of sports that exist for our enjoyment and entertainment. And in those sports teams, there is a particular line up built off of talent and timing. Some players are needed at the end of the game, where some are needed to play at the very beginning of the game.
You have offensive players. You have defensive players. Moreover, within these offensive and defensive team line ups, some players are just naturally better than others. Some players may not be as talented as others, but they can be depended on to make the play happen. There are coaches that might always want to have their best talent (1st String) out on the field at all times irregardless of attitude or character. However, there are other coaches that may wish to have their second or third best (2nd/3rd String) players because they have a big heart and love for the game so much that they are willing to make plays for the team rather than for self promotion. And to be honest, there are players who actually NEVER make it into the game. Their name might be on the team roster, but their primary place during the game is on the bench located directly on the SIDELINE…Right by the coach…and, I can guarantee you that it’s not by choice.
So, why do you think that is? Why do the coaches leave some players on the SIDELINE? Well, my friends, I’m glad you asked. There are many reasons for SIDELINE players. Bad attitudes. Tarnished characters. Suspension. Failure to be a team player. Inability to make plays. Horrible shot…Horrible batter…Horrible kicker..And the list goes on…However, these players can receive a second chance when the coach deems it necessary to bring them back on the field and into the game. In addition to, while waiting for their second chance, they must go to practice and train just as hard as anyone else. They must be just as dedicated as the 1st String. Because when it comes time for them to play, they must have already demonstrated that they can handle the pressure of their position. So, although there are different strings, each string must be just as prepared as the other. 2nd and 3rd String need to be just as diligent as the 1st String.
So, let’s just take a moment to consider Jesus as the coach of our team that is made up of the Body of Christ. We have many players that have many talents and gifts. We have players that are intercessors. We have players that are called to exercise their gift of healing at the appointed time of someone’s sickness and distress. We have players that are called to run, preach and carry the the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who are bound and lost. We also have players that readily exercise their gift of intercessory in order to communicate with God and edify the Body of Christ through the power Holy Spirit that is alive and at work in them.
However, just because we have different players with different levels of talents and gifts doesn’t mean that everybody can be used. And it most certainly does not mean that everybody gets to play. There are many of our players who cannot be used and get SIDELINED due to a sin filled life. They get placed on the bench because of hate towards their brother or sister in their hearts..Failure to be obedient to God…Injuries due to their failure to wear the whole Armor of God during battle…And even a lack of desire to come into covenant with God’s people.
So, what string are you? Has Jesus SIDELINED you or sat you down on the bench because you consistently fail to produce fruit? As a player on the team in the Body of Christ, is your heart and service consecrated, pure and unadulterated? And if you are failing in this area, have you still been pushing towards the goal of Christ and striving for perfection with an attitude that never desires to give up? Have you made it up in your mind that you will serve Him no matter what your condition is? And even if Jesus has identified you as 3rd string, have you done all you can to continue to learn the part just in case your brother or sister in 1st string fails or is unable to carry out the position? Or do you choose to not function at all because you were not placed on 1st string?
Saints of God, Jesus wants to use us for the advancement of His kingdom. However, He will SIDELINE you if you are of no use to Him. In John 15:2 Jesus says, “He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” Are you next in line to be cut off? Matthew 7:19 says, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Are you about to get cut down and thrown into the fire?
So I ask…Can Jesus depend on you to make a home run? Can He depend on you to save souls and make touchdowns in His name? Can He count on you to be ready when He needs you in His timing? Or will you be caught unprepared because you remained idle and did not occupy as you waited? 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Be ready ALWAYS.
So, no matter what string you are, BE READY. 1st String must remain humble and 2nd and 3rd string players must remain ready at all times. After all, we’re a team. You never know when Jesus is going to want to use you or need you in the game. BE READY when it’s your time to play. However, you must be ready and you must be a player that He actually desires to use. Get your life right. Get your heart right so that you don’t miss your chance in the game. Don’t let your chance pass you by. This could be your debut!! Are you READY? SET…GO!