by Carol Yasin
I studied in a school, where sports were given equal importance as studies. It has afforded some good cricket players from its campus and also the other game which I had seen the players playing the most in my campus was basketball. As I usually prefer going by a bus, which is not crowded, I had a habit of reaching my school campus by 7 o clock. Our first school bell rings at 8 o clock. So, I use to ramble around the school campus, which has a big ground area. Sometimes, I use to stand outside my classroom which is very close to the basketball practice area and observe the players playing there. I had a friend in that team who use to drill very hard and I have seen him trying to shoot the ball into the basket with his eyes closed. When I asked him for the reason, he replied me saying, ‘You can’t win the game if you don’t know where the basket is. You have to be the Game Changer and only then you can win the game.’ And so is the life. We cannot win the game when we do not know where is our basket. We need to be a game changer in our society. Jesus came to this earth and changed the game and thus impacting our life. Peter preached at Pentecost and changed the game. So, Are you ready to change the game today?
Today we are going to examine some of the qualities of the game changer by seeing the examples of game changers in the Bible.
In 2 Chronicles 14:4 the verse says,
….Joash set his heart on repairing the house of the Lord.
We see in verse 2 that, Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord and he had a desire to repair the house of God. He put his whole heart into it. This is the passion of Joash, and it is the first quality to be a game changer. Joash had the passion to repair the house of God because it was not only a house but it was of God’s. Our inner passion drives us on to this. It controls our life. To be a game changer, we necessitate to have a passion for Christ, our church, and our society. So, what passion do you hold?
When God gives an opportunity to play in a game, we need to get in, pass the ball and shoot it in the basket and get a score.’Game-changers’ influence the people and the culture which they live. The Bible has many game changers who influenced and changed the world.
One such individual was Ananias in the Bible.
We don’t know much whereabouts this person in the Bible. He doesn’t have much introduction and suddenly he comes into the scene and we never know what he did later after completing his task given by God. He was just an ordinary man just like you and me. God gave an opportunity to play in the game and the rest is a history.
So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”
God gave Ananias a simple task to do. All he has to do was lay his hands on ‘Saul’ so that the latter may obtain the sight. Ananias knew that Saul was persecuting Christians at that time. Though he hesitated(V12), when God asked him to do, he obeyed immediately.
Ananias had an excuse, a fairly good one. He said, “Lord, you know, Saul had come here with an authority to arrest all the people who work for and take them in chains.” Yes, God knows what He was doing and was not impressed with his excuse. When Ananias wanted to say ‘No’, God said to him, ‘Go’. When we are in His team, He doesn’t want us to give any excuses. He simply wants us to play on the floor for His team. So, the next time when you want to give an excuse, just think about it. Thus, when we are in the time of Jesus, He wants us to be on the field playing for the team, making a difference.
Whatever game it is, without teamwork, the team cannot win a match.
so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Now, we will see an example in the Bible, who played well being a team.
In Acts 13, we see a team of five men, Barnabas, Simeon (Niger), Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen and Saul. What were they doing as a team? They ministered to the Lord and were fasting. They were worshipping together. These men had set aside a specific period of time to pray and fast. We don’t know the cause behind it. When they worked together as a team and when they got down on the floor together and praying, God’s Spirit led them to set apart Barnabas and Paul as missionaries. And we know what happened then. The whole world was turned upside down.
**Some points to remember when playing as a team!!
- Priority to God. Whatever we do, we need to start by worshipping God and praying.
- Working as a team means more that just sitting on a bench. A team which has nothing to do is worthless.
- Seek God’s will .Be open for big ideas. I have been in a group, which constantly kept saying that we don’t have much time/people/talents to do for God. Only, when we step out for God, I have seen God doing mighty things. When God bids us to do something, obedience and the time we give to Him matters the most than anything else. When we do that, we will be the Game changer.
In the Old Testament, there was a woman who changed the game through her faith. Esther put her faith in the true God.
For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Though Esther was afraid of losing her life, if the King did not welcome her, she stood for her people. God used many instances to strengthen her in faith to arrive at this point. If God needs you to make a decision based on your Faith, He has been preparing the circumstances in your life leading you to this point. Esther risked her own life because she trusted God!
There are several other people who were used by God to change the ‘Game’ in this world.
The most important quality of the game changer is ‘Stepping out’ for God. All the examples we saw today, and each person called by God in the Bible or in history, stepped out from where they are to be a ‘Game Changer’. If you are not going to step out of your comfort zone and run for God, you are not going to make it.
Noah changed the game by obedience!
Abraham changed the game by faith!
Joseph changed the game by integrity!
David changed the game by courage!
Peter and the disciples changed the game by standing up for God!
Everyone in the Bible had a part to play and thus impacted an individual’s life as Philip or Ananias or the whole generation as Moses.
God might be calling you to do something today. We live in a society where we see poverty, corruption, murder, ….. Your impact may be simple like Ananias. But, it changes the whole game when played faithfully. When you are called to be the light of the world, are you going to let it shine for others or hide it under the bushel? The choice is yours!