Are You On God's Team?

Are You On God’s Team? Loving God, part XXIII


As we discussed being misfits last week I couldn’t help but think about some of the more popular misfits in the Word of God. So with a little “baseball” humor, let’s take a close look at some of the most famous misfits:

Let’s start with Joseph, our first misfit:

I classify Joseph as a misfit for two reasons:

  1. Because of the favor, he received from his father.

Genesis 37: 3 Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. 4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.

  1. Because of the dreams he had and the way he shared them.

5 One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. 6 “Listen to this dream,” he said. 7 “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”

8 His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.

Even his father scolded him:

10 This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?”

Joseph, son of Jacob, lines a single up the middle, runner on first.

The next misfit that comes to mind is Gideon:

Judges 6: 28 Early the next morning, as the people of the town began to stir, someone discovered that the altar of Baal had been broken down and that the Asherah pole beside it had been cut down. In their place a new altar had been built, and on it were the remains of the bull that had been sacrificed. 29 The people said to each other, “Who did this?” And after asking around and making a careful search, they learned that it was Gideon, the son of Joash.

30 “Bring out your son,” the men of the town demanded of Joash. “He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole.”

It seems as though the whole town wanted to worship Baal, including Joash, his own father.

They wanted to kill him, but God had other plans for his life. Where did he get this boldness? You should read verses 1-27.

Gideon, son of Joash, hits a blooper into left field, runners on first and second. (organ plays: duh duh duh da da! charge!)

John the Baptist definitely fits into the misfit category:

Matthew 3: 1 In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, 2 “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

4 John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food, he ate locusts and wild honey. 5 People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John.

Where do I start? This is strange, here is a man that went to the wilderness, away from the people, and told everybody to repent, that’s not going to win any friends. If that wasn’t enough, he certainly wasn’t trendy when it came to fashion and he ate weird food.

But yet, he attracted the masses! If this isn’t the power of God I don’t know what is. People today try to make themselves trendy, fit in and hang out with the crowd. Not John the Baptist.

John the Baptist, son of Zechariah, bunts and gets an infield single, the bases are loaded. Batting cleanup, Jesus, son of God! (the crowd roars)

Now for the Sinless One, the ultimate Misfit:

Matthew 26: 3 At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, 4 plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.

The Jewish leadership didn’t accept Him.

Matthew 9: 24 “Get out!” he told them. “The girl isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”But the crowd laughed at him.

Crowds laughed at Him.

John 6: 51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;”

He said the strangest stuff.

Luke 23: 18 Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!”

The crowd turned on Him.

John 6: 65 Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”

66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

His disciples left Him.

Matthew 26: 55 Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. 56But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Eventually, even the faithful 11 disciples left Him.

He was such a misfit that they had Him crucified:

Mark 15: 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.

And if that isn’t enough, when dead people normally stay dead, Jesus didn’t even stay dead!

John 21: 14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.

With one swing of the bat, that ball is long, long gone. It’s a home run! a grand slam! All runners are saved at home. (the crowd praises God)

Just a few thoughts on these four men:

  1. People around them wanted them killed, 2 of them were.
  2. They were each set apart for God’s special purposes in their own times.
  3. They were all very different. Joseph was simply favored and shared his dreams. Gideon was shown a few miracles and then was ready to obey the Most High God. John the Baptist had the spirit of Elijah. Jesus is God in the flesh.

If people don’t like you because you love Jesus, good. If you feel weird because you’d rather discuss the Bible rather than last night’s game, good. If your friends stop asking you out to the clubs so that you can watch them get drunk together, God is changing you and that is an awesome thing.

If God is calling you to be different, don’t think twice about it. Maybe He just wants you to be your true self and excel at the talents and gifts He’s already blessed you with. If He wants to give you new talents, that can happen. Like writing, for instance, I was not a writer until earlier this year and God has been giving me things to say.

So step up to the plate and get on base. The risen Savior has hit the home run that allows those that trust in Him to be safe at home (Paradise)!

To close us out, let’s hear from another famous misfit, Paul the Apostle:

Galatians 1: 10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Who are you pleasing?

“Dear Lord, I really struggle with wanting to please people more than you. It’s hard for me to be different. Please change my heart, Lord. Make me want to follow you at any cost. I desire to win your favor, as your servant Moses had. Thank you for leading me and teaching me new things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Photo by Frantzou Fleurine on Unsplash

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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