Losing “concentrate” and regaining rhythm
By Sparta Live | January 7, 2019 7:12 am
By Steve Qualls – Christpoint Church
A few years ago, when one of my granddaughters was around 6 years old, I would pitch a bucket of balls to her, and she would attempt to hit them with a small plastic bat. She could successfully hit about 50 percent of the balls as I pitched them. One afternoon, her focus was sharper, and she was hitting the ball exceptionally well. Then, something happened, we called for TeTe to come and see how good she was doing, and, in her drive to impress her grandmother, she just didn’t do as well. I kept pitching balls, and she kept swinging and missing until the darkness fell, and we had to give it up for the night. It weighed heavy on her 6-year-old mind, and, as she stayed the night at our house, she got up early the next morning like it was Christmas Day, pulled me out of bed to go outside to hit plastic balls. She said simply, “I have to practice because I’ve lost concentrate.” In her little mind, she was teaching all of us great lessons about walking with the Lord. Losing “concentrate” when you’re hitting plastic baseballs is like being out of rhythm for a Christian.
Let me explain, people buy tickets for months in advance and line up for hours in the heat, rain, and cold to hear a band play their favorite songs. People never line up to hear a band play out of rhythm. This past Sunday, I asked our worship band to intentionally play a song out of rhythm during services. Believe me, people notice more when a great team plays bad than they do when they play well. It’s because they’re not expecting it. No one expects them to sound bad, so it draws all the attention to what they think could be the problem. Another good example of being out of rhythm is when a car fails to run properly. It could be bad gas, blown spark plugs, out of timing, or a host of other things I know nothing about, but, the bottom line is, the car is out of rhythm. And when that happens, it’s time to see the mechanic. And what about a football team? The rhythm of the game is so important to winning that the entire success of the season depends on it. We’ve all seen it. A good team gets beaten by a team with lesser talent because they took them out of their game. Rhythm to the Christian is like momentum to a team, and the team with momentum wins games.
Serving God requires a certain rhythm. Let’s look a David before and after he became king. His life and heart were in rhythm with God. He killed bears and lions in the field and giants in the valleys, with minimal effort, because his attention was on the Lord. But, somewhere along the line, his rhythm was disrupted like touching a tuning fork after it’s been struck. A man who killed his tens of thousands in battle and possessed such rhythm with the Lord that he was described as having a heart after God’s own heart allowed that same rhythm to be disrupted by a naked lady on a rooftop. That one encounter cost a good man and a newborn their lives. Later on, David simply shifted his focus once again. He counted the people of Israel in 2 Samuel chapter 24. According to Exodus chapter 30, a man was only permitted to count what belonged to him. Israel belonged to God, not David. The once rhythmic relationship between David and God had been touched like a tuning fork. Seventy thousand Israelites died because the king broke rhythm with God.
So how do we reset our relational rhythm with God? The same way that David did. He fasted and prayed in 2 Samuel chapter 12. He listened to the Lord and, in obedience, bought and paid for the sacrifice in 2 Samuel chapter 24 to remove the plague that he had brought on Israel through the census. Fasting, prayer, and proper sacrifice restored Israel’s rhythm.
I’ve always said God’s not going to bless our laziness. Sometimes we need to reset our rhythm, get back our “concentrate,” and spend some days fasting and praying. Take a look around, your life’s not out of control and neither is it a mess. It’s out of rhythm. Come and see me at Christpoint Church this Sunday, at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. Let’s start this year out with momentum. Whatever starts right, finishes right. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.