Any sports fan could probably list out for you multiple cliches related to their favorite sport. “One play at a time” or “The best defense is a good offense” or “Offense sells tickets, defense wins Championships” or “There is no ‘I’ in team.”
All of these cliches seem to give us some insight into how winning happens. You want to win? Well then, you evidently need to play one play at a time with the best offense and best defense and drop the idea of the letter ‘I’. I understand what all of these cliches are saying, and most of them have become cliches because there is at least some level of truth to them. But if you ask me, winning the big game has a lot less to do with these things and a whole lot more to do with everything that happens before the game starts. Thats right, games are won or lost at practice. And that is why I love Acts 13 and 14. They show us the “big game” of Paul’s first missionary journey, but they start with what lead them to success in the big game.
Acts 13 starts by showing us that the people of the church in Antioch were displaying their inward devotion by outward displays of obedience in worship, prayer, and fasting. They were doing the work before hand and expecting God to show up and teach them in that work. They worked together as the church to see what God had next for them. My prayer for us at Valley Creek today is that we would desire the same inward devotion and put it on display together in prayer and fasting and in fellowship and worship. So how can you make these things a more regular part of your walk with Christ and with those beside you in the fellowship of the church?