It’s Time to Get Off the Sidelines
I will never forget the first time I went to the Big House. For those of you not familiar, the Big House is the nickname of a football stadium at the University of Michigan. It is the largest sports stadium in the United States, having a capacity of just over 107,000. And it is built into the ground. Meaning as you enter the stadium, you do not walk up to your seats; you walk down. All 107,000+ people crammed onto bleachers, chanting and cheering, screaming “Hail to the Victors” at the top of their lungs is a sight to behold. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. It made me feel as if I was a part of the game. I had a stake in the outcome.
I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences. Whether it be in person at a stadium, live from your living room, or cheering on your kid’s little league game, we all have a moment where we feel as if we are too emotionally invested and part of the action. But the truth is, we aren’t. We are just spectators. All the action, the skill, effort, and sacrifice are taking place on the field or the court. You and I are just watching from the stands.
Unfortunately, I think we often apply the same spectator mindset of sports to the church. We show up on Sunday, expecting our needs to be met, to be served, and then we walk back out to our cars and move on with our lives. We make going to church all about us. The problem with this mindset is we miss out on the calling God has placed on each of our lives. And just like the Big House is home to over 100,000 Michigan fans, those who have a relationship with God are a part of His house. God does not call us to be spectators in His place. He calls us to be on the field in action and being in the action requires sacrifice.
1 Peter 2:5 says, “You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Now, we do not live in Biblical times where we must make sacrifices of grain or the fattened calf in our backyards. But as Peter states in this verse, God does call us to make spiritual sacrifices through our lives. In other words, Peter is telling us that there is no part of our lives that do not matter to God. Because of this, we are to hold nothing back in offering every part of lives to him.
God is calling us to get off the sideline and to start living on mission for Him
God is calling us to get off the sideline and to start living on mission for Him. As Pastor CT Eldridge, our Lapeer Campus Pastor, recently reminded me that our time, our talents, our resources, our relationships, our minds, our bodies, it all belongs to Him; we sacrifice all of it to Him, in order to play our part in the house of God and to fulfill the mission of God.
Being a part of the mission of God is going to require sacrifice. It is going to require your time, your energy, and your resources. It is going to take you stepping off the sideline into the action! In doing so, there will be struggle and pain. But within that there is blessing and joy knowing you are making an impact for eternity.
I think we all must ask ourselves the question, “what are we holding back?” What parts of your life are you not willing to sacrifice to Him? Do you want to be the spectator Christian who just punches their weekly “church” card, then punches out when service is over?
Philippians 3:7–8 says,
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”
It is time for us to get off the sideline and walk down on to the field. There will be nothing in your life more fulfilling then a relationship with God and living on mission for Him. Let us be people known for our faith, who advance His kingdom to the ends of the earth.