July baseball is hard. It’s hot. It’s the middle of the season for the Big Leagues, which means it’s several months from the playoffs. It’s summer ball for high school and college players, which means it’s several months from the beginning of a new season. For all these reasons, July baseball is hard.

It’s hard to stay focused.

It’s hard to stay motivated.

It’s hard to stay dedicated.

But, July baseball is crucial. It’s where pennant races are won or lost (every game counts…and teams must decide in July whether to buy or sell at the trade deadline). It’s where high school and college players get better or worse for the upcoming school year. July baseball is hard, but crucial.

Teams and players who remain focused, motivated, and dedicated in July see huge payoffs months later. Conversely, those who forget how crucial July is later wonder why they are not more successful.

Proverbs 3:1-2–“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to you” (NASB).

It’s easy to forget how important July baseball is. It’s also easy to forget how important daily obedience to God is. A life of discipline and obedience, resulting from love for your Heavenly Father, may not yield the immediate payoff you desire in the moment, but God does indeed reward obedience (see Hebrews 11:6). Daily, loving obedience builds a life that is ready for the stressful moments of the “playoffs.” It brings life to the years God gives you. It adds peace to you that is inexplicable.

July baseball and daily obedience may not be easy, but they are worth it.

A prayer for those who need it:

Heavenly Father, I feel like daily obedience is similar to playing baseball in July. It’s hard. That’s why I need you. Jesus, live through me. Get me through the times when nothing makes sense, when there seems to be no payoff, when I don’t feel like living for you. Help me see past the difficulty of “July baseball” in my life. Amen.