BASKETBALL AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

BASKETBALL AND THE HOLY SPIRIT



In response to the question, “How do you tell someone who is not a Christian what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit”, I give this answer.


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?



I will answer your question, but first I must tell you about this most incredible and bizarre basketball game that I have ever heard. It has been on my mind all day, and I just have to tell someone. It will only take a moment of your time.

First of all I need to ask you a question, “Have you ever seen or heard one of those wrestling match challenges, where this huge enormous heavy weight professional wrestler puts out an open challenge to all takers?

You have! Good! That will make it easier for you to understand this incredible basketball challenge. I promise that I will answer your question just as soon as I tell you about this most unusual basketball challenge that I have ever heard about. It resembles one of those wrestling match challenges. But this challenge is so bizarre that it is almost impossible to believe, so you will probably think that I am pulling your leg. You will definitely have to use your imagination when I tell you the size of this guy, who has issued this challenge to anyone who would dare to square off with him in a game of basketball.

I want you to try and imagine the biggest toughest guy you have ever seen, because I guarantee that this guy is going to be bigger. Now I am telling you straight from the horse’s mouth that I have heard that this challenger is the world’s biggest man. I have heard that he is a giant of a man standing over 9ft. 6in. tall and stronger than any wrestler you have ever seen. I know that this sounds to incredible to believe, but I have heard people describe this giant of a man, who have actually responded to his challenge and have went head to head with him.

These eyewitnesses are saying that he is challenging anyone who wants to take him on in a game of basketball, and get this; the prize is one million dollars!

And all you have to do is show up, put on a uniform, and sink 10 baskets. Oh! And here is the best part; it does not cost a dime to enter the challenge, and you can take as many shots as you like!

But here is the catch, you have to play by a strict set of rules, and believe me I have heard that this giant does not let any mistake you make go unnoticed. He quickly makes the referee aware of all your mistakes. Oh, and one more thing, if you are considering taking this challenge yourself, then you should know that this giant of a man plays “hardball”; he bends the rules to his advantage when ever he thinks that he can get away with it, so it is up to you to know the rule book inside and out.

It seems odd that not everyone has heard of this challenge by now, because it has been going on for a long time.

Have you ever heard of this challenge? No, well I suppose that some people are just not interested in hearing about basketball. How about you, are you interested in basketball? You are. Well then, let me tell you some more of what I have heard, and then I promise you I will tell you what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Just as soon as this challenge went out people began to flock to the arena to sign up and get their uniform so they could win the prize! Others also came, but not to play, they came only to watch. Soon the place was packed, the spectators watched with great enthusiasm rooting for the players as they stepped out to meet the challenger.

Then the first player stepped out onto the court. Now, having never seen such a giant of a man before, he became overwhelmed at such seemingly impossible odds, and gave up without ever taking a shot. The other players, and those who were watching tried to get him to stay and give it another try, but he would not listen. At this point the morale of both the spectators and the other players were very low, but they knew that there were other players who were signed up to face this challenger, and that these players needed their support, so they turned their attention back to the game.

As the second player stepped out onto the court, the crowd’s enthusiasm began to arise. He had his uniform on with his name proudly displayed across it and was dribbling the basketball like he knew what he was doing. He took shot after shot never making a one. It seemed like every time that he would take a shot that the referee would blow the whistle on him. This began to make this second player angry with the referee. Now the referee never took offense at the player’s anger toward him, but rather seemed to be apologetic as he tried to explain, “ I have to do what it is written in the rule book”. Ignoring the advice and instruction of the referee the second player kept on playing, trying every thing he knew to do, but he still never made any baskets. The harder he tried the angrier he became, and the further his shot came from going through the hoop. More and more fouls were called against him; so much so, that he felt that nobody wanted him to win, even though the referee and the other players tried to help him by telling him that he was not playing by the rule book, but he just would not listen. By now he was so filled with anger against the referee that no one could tell him anything. He immediately took off his uniform, and stormed off the court in anger and bitterness. Every one but the giant was saddened at his decision to throw in the towel, and quit, but everyone knew that the game must go on.

Then suddenly a spark of hope entered the crowd as a third player stepped out onto the court to meet the challenge. He too was proudly wearing his uniform, but you could hardly make out his name. Now this third player’s strategy was different than the other players who had gone before him, in that he knew more of what the rule book said, and that he was determined to win. Also he had been watching the other players and noticed a weakness in the giant challenger. He got up real close to this over sized specimen of a man, right up in his face, so to speak dribbling all around him, taking shot after shot. He came closer than any other player to making a basket. Soon this giant of a man became worried that he might make a basket, so he took a cheap shot and slammed this third player to the floor.

The crowd went wild and immediately rose to their feet booing and hissing at the giant challenger. Now the giant loved this kind of attention and began egging the crowd on even more. Some of the players thought the referee should have called a foul and when he never did they began to question the fairness of the referee. In response the referee could only say, “ I am sorry, I am only following what it says in the rule book”. Now, with all the confusion, the third player noticed that the giant was temporarily distracted by all the attention he was receiving from the crowd’s booing.

The third player then quickly takes advantage of this opening, and makes a last ditch effort by flipping the basketball into the air desperately hoping that it will make it in the basket. The crowd watches suspenseful as the basketball hits the backboard, and slowly circles the rim, not one time, not two times, but three times, and then suddenly drops (to the ground). No! I am just kidding. After circling the rim a few times the ball drops through the hoop, and the crowd jumps to their feet to cheer with all their might!

This third player was now energized by his victory in making that first basket, and was especially lifted up by the cheering of crowd. He was soon mesmerized by all of this attention that the crowd is giving to him. He began liking it so much that he could no longer keep his mind on the game. No matter how hard he seems to try, he is just not able to get another shot past the giant challenger. Soon he too becomes exhausted and frustrated at not being able to make any more baskets, and decides to throw in the towel and give up as well. You could just feel the disappointment coming from everyone, that is of course, everyone except the egnotistic giant.

But wait! A fourth player steps out. No! A fourth and fifth player step out onto the court as a team to face the challenge. The giant begins to protest, but the referee turns, and says, “ It is in the book”. The challenger already knew this of course, but he was just trying to see if the opposition would back down. However, these two players knew they had a right to play as a team, and began to execute their fancy maneuvers down the court. Their expertise in handling the basketball threw the giant off balance, and they were able to make six baskets in no time at all. The challenger, who by this time was quite worried of losing, so he signaled for four of his most sneaky and tricky players to come into the game to help defend him.

Now this team, which was made up of the fourth and fifth players, were not used to playing with all these extra obstacles on the court, and could not seem to avoid bumping into the other defensive players. Each time they would even so much as graze one of these defensive player, the giant would make certain that the referee blew the whistle. Soon this team of players also became frustrated and angry with the referee, and gave up as well. At this point every one is feeling,

What is the point of even trying? What chance does anyone have against this giant?”

I bet you too are wondering that perhaps this referee is just a little bit bias in his calling of fouls. So at this point, do you think there is any hope of anyone ever making all ten baskets against this giant?

No! You say. You don’t think so either. Well then, let me tell you what else I have heard, and maybe you will change you mind.

It is true that the fourth and fifth player walked off in defeat, but I also heard that a sixth and seventh player team stepped out on to the court to face the challenge. But wait they were not alone; a “ringer”, a professional basketball player, accompanied them. Oh! And not just any professional, he is the best player of all time. Now it should be no surprise to you at all by now that the giant challenger protested to this coaching of these players by this “ringer”, saying it was not fair, but the referee pointed to the rule book and said, “It is allowed. Play ball.”

Now this professional “ringer” had been working with this team the whole time that the other players were facing the giant. He taught them every rule in the book, so that they would know just how to maneuver around these defensive players without making any fouls. He even taught them every weakness of the giant challenger, which made it easy for them to penetrate his defense. I wish you would have been there and seen it. This team worked together like a well-oiled machine, dribbling the basketball down the court, and going through the defense like it wasn’t even there. They made shot after shot, seemingly with no effort at all. Soon they had sunk the required ten baskets of the challenge that was issued, but were only met with a protest from the giant challenger. The referee told the giant that they did everything by the book, and that he was to turn loose of the one million dollar prize money, and give it to them. This giant of a man reluctantly turned over to the one million dollars to them, but quickly challenged them to a rematch.

Seeing how that they had been trained by the best, “the ringer”, and could go to this professional trainer any time that they needed help, they decided to take on the challenger again and again, defeating him every single time.

Now I also heard that this professional “ringer” is in town and looking for people to train as he trained this sixth and seventh player to work as a team and to know the rulebook inside and out.

Would you be interested in looking this “ringer” up to train you to take the challenge?




  • The CHALLENGE is the CALL that is made to everyone. It is the call to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

  • The UNIFORM represents the righteousness of God that can only be obtained through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

  • The NAME on the uniform is pride, which is what causes the Christian to stumble and fall.

  • The UNIFORM that bore the name, that could hardly be read, signifies a Christian that gives all the glory to God.

  • The BASKETBALL symbolizes prayer.

  • The BASKETS THAT ARE MADE symbolizes answered prayer.

  • The PRIZE of one million dollars signified the releasing back to what rightfully belongs to the believers.

  • The COURT is the Christian walk. If you remain on the “court” and don’t quit, then there is always hope for you to overcome the giant challenger.

  • The GIANT CHALLENGER is Satan, the devil, who challenges or opposes us on every side, and accuses us before God day and night.

  • The FOUR DEFENSIVE PLAYERS represent the many devils that help Satan, and together they make up the principalities in the air that block the carnal Christians prayer from getting through to God.

  • The FOULS are sins in the Christian’s life that hinders his prayer and his Christian walk.

  • The REFEREE is God, who makes sure that everything is done by the book.

  • The RULE BOOK is the word of God, the HOLY BIBLE.

  • The CROWD represents the angels in heaven who rejoice when a sinner is saved, the great cloud of witnesses who are watching us, and spectators in the world, which are sinners that are watching our Christian walk to see if there is any validity to what we say.

  • The FIRST PLAYER is one who heard the word of God, and thought that he would give it a try, but when he saw that it was too big of a challenge he gave up.

  • The SECOND PLAYER represents the player who trusts in his own strength alone. He never reads the Bible, and his prayers are “hit and miss” prayers that seldom make it through the principalities and powers in the air. He soon becomes frustrated with not being able to walk the Christian walk. He is confused by and the lack of answers to his prayers, and gives up.

  • The THIRD PLAYER is the Christian who has read some of the Bible, but just enough to get him into trouble. He then takes what little he has learned and runs headlong into the enemy only to be defeated. Occasionally he manages to get a prayer answered, but is lifted up with pride when he sees that other Christians think that he is special, because God answered his prayer. Not realizing that his pride is a snare of the devil, and is what is causing him to not have any more of his prayers answered, he soon gives up as well.

  • The FOURTH AND FIFTH PLAYER TEAM represents those Christians who have come to know the value of worshiping and fellow shipping with other Christians. They have discovered the power of united prayer, but they are still easily tempted by the enemy, and give into sin repeatedly. Not realizing that it is sin that is keeping them from getting their prayers answered, they soon feel that God to is against them, and they give up as well not realizing that this is not just a game with God, but rather it is God's obligation to be faithful to his word, even if it means seeing his children suffer needlessly.

  • The SIXTH AND SEVENTH PLAYER TEAM represents those Christians who have been FILLED with the HOLY SPIRIT. They listen to the teaching of the Holy Spirit as they read their Bible every day. They depend upon the Holy Spirit to direct their every step. They have learned to take advantage of the help that God has freely offered them through this “ringer”, so to speak, that will lead them and guide them in all understanding of the game, and also to know the value of unity and Christian fellowship.

  • Lastly the “RINGER” is the HOLY SPIRIT, who is willing to help any and ALL Christians to be all that they can be in God’s army.



Are you ready to take the challenge and step out in faith into the “court of life”, and face the enemy with the assurance that you have a HELPER that will never leave you, and puts a knowing deep inside your heart that you will always be victorious no matter what obstacles may be place in your way by the adversary?



THAT IS WHAT IS MEANS TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT!


Always and Forever,

BE YOU CONTINUALLY FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT!


To the reader:


Now if by chance you are not a Christian or are not sure even what I mean by being a Christian, but desire to know, then please read the study entitled "HOW CAN I BE SAVED"
Now if you are already a Christian, but have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit and you desire to know how, then plese read the study entitled "THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER"
 
Any and all of this material may freely be reproduced and used to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord to the glory of God the Father, the only true and wise God.


I give all the glory to God for this word picture, which came to me in the early morning hour as I was awakening. I rose up and wrote a few key words down so that I would not forget them in the morning when I got up. That same morning I sat down and wrote the entire story with the exception of the interpretation. Throughout the day I meditated on what this story meant. I knew in part, but did not know the whole meaning. As the Holy Spirit gave me insight I became very excited, and could hardly wait to get home and put it down on paper. When I got home I sat down and wrote everything that came to me that day.

As I typed this story I began seeing many more Biblical applications and lessons that this story potentially possesses. So to the reader I say, “ feel free to change or alter this story in any way you feel lead by the Holy Spirit. Do not be afraid to add or take away from it”, because many Biblical truths are hidden within this word picture. May all who read it be blessed of God!

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Always and Forever,

Mark.

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE

AT

AMatterOfTruth.com