Skin In The Game

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”

Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

What does it mean for a player to have “skin in the game”?

For those who aren’t familiar with this saying, having “skin in the game” basically means that as a player of the team you have, at some point, done something that causes you to be directly involved or affected by a moment; a moment that is a result of giving it your all to break through and do what seemed to be challenging for a victory.

Now, the thing about this is only you and God know if you are truly putting “skin in the game” and putting yourself out there to be vulnerable/brave enough to see a great victory. It takes a different mindset to go for it with all you have. We all want to feel like we are giving 100% all the time completely focused on the ultimate goal but you can’t do it and be fearful. Think about it, if a baseball player (and I know not everyone watches baseball but the point is there) is afraid of the opponent and the reality of possibly being hit, then he will never take the risk he needs to take to slide into home base or catch the ball coming their way getting the team closer to the win. There isn’t any room for fear, there isn’t any room for insecurities or self doubt. Yes, I get it and I know that it’s easier said than done but I also know that the position God has you in is vital to the ultimate plan. Don’t shy from taking strides of  faith in your walk because fear tells you that you can’t, telling you that you are overestimating your ability to take such risk…take the jump, take the risk, don’t shy away as if you weren’t made for this.

You were made for this.

Take a moment to let that sink in. The very thing you are so afraid and insecure about doing is the very thing that YOU WERE MADE FOR. We weren’t created to just be the image of God enjoying life and smelling the roses — no. We were created to be ground breaking, devil intimidating, trail blazing players who has the ultimate goal in mind and to believe in that goal so much that it sits higher than any whisper of insecurity that comes to try and keep us stuck where we are. We were created to slide into home bases for the win and stand flat footed at the charging opponent. But the only way we will find ourselves living in that truth is if we are doing what feels uncomfortable now, spending our time wisely in the things that count and not wasting our days with frivolous activities; if we’re not careful we will find that every time the door opens for us to live in our truth of the trail blazing women we were created to be, the devil will psych us out with fear, insecurity, doubt, comparison, and the list goes on and on.

And I don’t know about you but I’m so sick and tired of allowing these things to stop me from stepping outside of what makes me feel comfortable. I want to be so focused on the goal and believe so deeply in what has been placed on the inside of me that when the time comes for me to leap that I don’t get frozen in fear because I believe so much in this truth that it allows me to push past it. There are so many victories we won’t see unless we are able to push past the fear, push past the insecurity and self doubt.

A player on a baseball team doesn’t join the team and immediately start sliding into bases or standing in the way of a charging opponent to guard a win; no a player comes in the game pushing him or herself personally in practice first. As a high schooler my dad use to say all the time “you have to do, what you don’t want to do now, so that you can do, what you want to do later” I use to roll my eyes in aggravation and this saying still rings in my ear to this day (and occasionally I still roll my eyes in aggravation) but my response is different. Because reality is there are seasons in our life that just feel harder than others and it’s not all due to hardships, but if we only do what makes us comfortable 90% of the time, are we truly able to grow? We have to push ourselves, this practice of self-discipline that everyone wants but no one is truly holding themselves accountable to.

What are you avoiding doing now that is hindering you in the later?

When was the last time you pushed yourself to move past fear and leap with faith focused on the ultimate goal?

What keeps you from believing that this truth applies to you? That you were created to conquer and not shy from the very thing that has been trying to intimidate you?

My prayer for us this week is that we will rise up and accept this identity of being Trail Blazing contributors who no longer shy away from stepping outside of what makes us comfortable; that we wouldn’t allow fear, insecurity, and comparison to keep us frozen in our tracks but instead, feeling these things and having the ability to do it anyway. To move past those feelings and self-criticism that once felt so normal, so that we can live in the freedom of the truth. The truth that we were made for this and  we aren’t afraid of the work that needs to be done nor the risks that needs to be taken. We don’t run from it because we were created for it. I pray that we would embrace this identity with love and clear understanding that we are the missing piece to the puzzle and everything we have inside of us was hand placed there by God for a reason. Embracing this truth despite how we feel so that we can commit to the practice of discipline and in return help others who struggle in the same way embrace their freedom.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV

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