Calling Fouls

When I was in college, I used to go to the local park all the time to play pick up basketball games. There was always a game going on. Once a game had started, someone would yell out, “I got next.” That meant they picked the team for the next game to face the winner of the current game. The only problem in pick up games was there was no referee. Each person had to call their own foul. If you fouled someone and didn’t call it, the person who was fouled would usually make a comment like, “I guess no blood no foul huh?” It never failed that arguments would always break out over whether a foul was called or whether something was a foul. When it started getting ugly and fists started flying, it was time to grab my basketball and go.

In the Old Testament, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and later The Law to be a referee. Up until then, there really wasn’t anything other than each person determining what was right and wrong. God knew that we needed a referee to show us those things, but He also knew that we had to know The Law in order for it to work. In Deuteronomy 6:6-9, God told them to commit wholeheartedly to what He was telling them. He then told them to talk about them everywhere they went, to tie them to their arm and forehead and to post them on the doors of their houses as reminders of what He said. Yet even still people did what was right in their own eyes because it hadn’t moved from their head to their heart.

In the New Testament, Paul wrote in Colossians 3:16, “Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (AMP). The word in the original language of the New Testament mean, “To act as an umpire.” Once His word dwells in us richly and permeates our entire being, then it can help us know how God wants us to live. We weren’t created to call our own fouls determining what’s right and wrong. God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to do that. Allow both to rule and reign in your life so that He can call the fouls that lead us to repentance and an abundant life.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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