Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ode To My Flat Bouncy Ball

            For my youngest daughter’s birthday she received this craft kit as one of her presents.  We opened it up this weekend and were having fun playing with it.  In one of the crafts there was this bouncy ball kit where you pour some kind of crystal sand stuff in the mold, hold it in water and eventually you get a bouncy ball.  We had a lot of fun with this craft.  Seriously, they keep inventing more cool things.  Where was the bouncy ball kit when I was a kid?  We made six bouncy balls that day.  The trick was to letting them dry so they could be bounced.  Well eventually they did dry, but I soon found out that the one she gave me had become flat because as it was drying I didn’t move it at all so I now have a lopsided flat bouncy ball.  Sure it functions, but it bounces a little crooked and isn’t as pretty as intended. 
            As I was thinking about this I began to realize how important it is for all of us to learn a lesson from my deformed bouncy ball.  If you stay in one place too long you can grow stagnant and be like the flat bouncy ball.  This doesn’t mean you have to physically move all the time.  But it does mean that in the kingdom of God there is a constant moving forward, a moving from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).  There is a desire to press on and press forward.  Many people fear change.  They try to fight with God when He leads them to move forward.  We all like to be comfortable.  But we’ll never grow to what God is calling us maintaining the same old thing.  If we want different results we have to step out of the boat.  If we keep refusing to move, we can grow stale, stagnant, and be just like a flat bouncy ball. 
            I have always loved the story of Peter getting out of the boat to walk on the water (Matt 14:22-23)  Jesus called out to the boat and said, “Come,” and notice in a boat full of people it was only Peter that stepped out of the boat.  I wished I could tell you that I would have just as much faith to get out of a boat to walk on physical water.  I’m a lot like Peter in the sense I probably would jump out and then as the waves and the storm came I’d start questioning that decision.  This story is often talked about to criticize Peter’s lack of faith, because he did start to panic and sink.  But Peter refused to be a “Flat Bouncy Ball”.  Peter got out of the boat!  Even when he started to panic, Jesus’ grace and mercy reached down and lifted him out of the water. 
            Having the faith to keep moving forward even when the choices you make scare your flesh, makes God excited!

  Hebrews 11:6 (AMP)

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
            I am not suggesting doing a bunch of works, claiming God told you to do something if He didn’t.  But I am saying when God tells you to step out of the water and you do, it makes Him excited, giddy, and I believe He is up in heaven saying, “Will you look at my child?  They believe me enough to leave their comfort, and step on the water.”  Faith is the currency of heaven.
            I love what I’ve heard Kim Clement say time and time again.  “You’re never going to know unless you step out of the boat!  You’re never going to know.  You’re never going to know unless you step out of the boat.”  Too many Christians live their lives being a flat bouncy ball.  (Grin)  They let fear stop them.  Sure, they’ll go to heaven, but God won’t be able to accomplish through them what their destinies are on the earth.  Your life, no matter who you are, affect many.  One of my favorite quotes fits well here.  "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Are deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same." From Doug Atchison writer of Akeelah and the Bee
            I want to encourage you all today to move forward in God.  I want to encourage you all to do what He says when He says.  Don’t be a flat bouncy ball.  God has created you to soar higher than you ever dreamed possible.
            Remember He has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

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