Here’s the final installment of the Lessons from Little League.

The bookshelves in my office each have a specific purpose. One holds New Testament books. Another, Old Testament. I even have one with just baseball books. You get the point. It’s all organized and¬†compartmentalized. I go crazy if a book is out of its compartment. Life, however, as a believer in Jesus Christ, is not meant to be lived as I have organized my bookshelves. I’m not talking about freedom to be a bum and have no direction or organization in life. I’m talking about compartmentalization.

Here’s what I’ve noticed for many people…here’s the struggle: Those who call themselves followers of Jesus don’t live at the church. They live in the real world and participate in normal activities, like baseball. Yet, for them, baseball is a compartment of life, one in which they are free to do and act however they want. In many cases, this means they act nothing like the life we see believers called to in the Bible. I say it’s a struggle because it really is. It’s a struggle between human nature and the new nature given to followers of Jesus by His Holy Spirit. I’ve never fought in a war, but I know that this struggle is like a never-ending internal battle.

Simply put, if you are a follower of Jesus, baseball is not a compartment of life. Jesus cannot be checked at the dugout gate and forgotten. We cannot pretend as if baseball is a part of life that Jesus should not affect. Paul makes it pretty clear in Galatians: “I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (2:19b-20 HCSB).

That doesn’t allow for compartments, does it? It’s clear that your relationship with Jesus can and must affect every aspect of your life, even baseball.

There is no way to remain patient, loving, vision-oriented, and humble without the power of the Holy Spirit. Checking your ego and sinful tendencies cannot be done in your own power.

The Holy Spirit must inform and control every aspect to your approach to playing and coaching the game. And that won’t happen if baseball is a compartment of your life, untouchable by the Savior. Give all to Him and by doing so, you’ll find freedom, enjoyment, and fulfillment in the game like never before.