UP, ON DECK AND IN THE HOLE
If you have competed long at all you understand the terms “up, on deck and in the hole” referring to the line up of competitors. When the announcer calls a name as being “in the hole” that means you had better be getting your act together. When you are “on deck” you have about one minute to prepare and when you are “up” this is the time you perform ready or not!
When we compare competing to our Christian lives it is much the same. We are first “in the hole”. Then we are “on deck”. Last, after God prepares us we are “up”.
There are two groups of people that are “in the hole”.
The non-believers that are “in the hole” are people that have either:
These people will at sometime have the gospel presented to them to either accept or reject. It is a choice EVERYONE will be faced with at some time in their life. John 3:3 and 2 Peter 3:9
The Bible tells us their eyes are “veiled”. They are blind to the things of God and wandering around like a blind person. They may think life is good at the time and they don’t need God but what about eternity? Life is short and eternity is, well, eternity! John 3: 18
I have to admit that would be me from the age of about 14 to about 32. I knew God and attended church on a fairly regular basis but my God was a God of convenience. I was what the Bible calls “lukewarm”. I prayed when I needed help. Then I just went on my merry way. That was about it. I was not walking the walk and could not understand why my life was not blessed. Talk about dense!
Rev. 3 :16 and Mat. 12:30.
So, let’s look at the ideal situation and take these people that are “in the hole” and present them with the gospel and take the veil from their eyes (2 Cor. 3 :16) so they can see clearly and they become solid believers. That leads us to the people that are “on deck”.
People that are “on deck” are also usually “on fire”! They are so excited about their new found or renewed faith that people are either attracted to them to see what they have that is so exciting or they are driven away thinking they are some kind of “fanatic”. The “on deck” people study and attend church and bible study and are constantly educating themselves. They are so in love with God and His word there is nothing that will distract them ( Mat. 5:6). During this time of being “on deck” God prepares the person to do His will. It is an interesting and exciting time. They are virtually set free from the burdens of this life and this world (John 8:31 and 32). There is a feeling of anticipation with each new day just to see what God will do.
After spending some time “on deck” God will call a person to service. That is when we are “up”. This is the time we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and do God’s work in the field. However, to be “up” we must be “willing”. We don’t want to act like a gate sour horse and start pulling back. God has prepared us and given us the tools to complete the task. He will be with us every step of the way guiding our steps and putting the words on our tongues. There are all kinds of ways God may call us into service. We may not think we can do what God calls us to do in the natural but God is in charge of the supernatural and through Him we can do ALL THINGS! Make no mistake. God will let you know WHAT He needs from you WHEN He needs you and WHERE He needs you. What we as Christians need to do is be willing and faithful servants (Mat 25:21). He won’t ask anything of us He knows we are not able to complete. If He knows we can complete the task who are we to argue the point?
Where are you today?
Are you “in the hole”? Are you wandering in the wilderness? If so, accept Jesus as your savior. Get in a good Bible based church and surround yourself with other Christians. Let God give you the good life you deserve!
If you are a Christian not walking the walk spend some time talking with God and repent. Turn around and head toward Him instead of away from Him! Open your eyes and your heart to God’s love and mercy and power!
Are you “on deck”? Are you preparing for the job God may call you to? Are you strengthening yourself and preparing for a life of service? If you are not preparing for your future with the Lord you may be “on deck” for a long time, perhaps your entire life, because He will not call you to service unless you are willing to prepare for the journey.
Are you “up”? If God is calling you to service listen! Pay attention and do not refuse Him. He will not call us to do something we are not prepared to do. However, there have been times in my life I have thought “Lord, you have GOT to be kidding”. His response to me has always been “I NEVER kid about people’s souls!” (Mat. 28:18 – 20)
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is PATIENT with you, now wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
John 3: 18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Rev. 3:15 and 16
I know your deeds that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
He who is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me scatters.
2 Corinthians 3: 16
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord the veil is taken away.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
John 8: 31 and 32
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
Mathew 25: 21
Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!
Mathew 28: 18-20
THE GREAT COMMISSION
Then Jesus came to them and said. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”