This semester I am working through The Team Captain’s Leadership Manuel with my fellow softball team captains. This past week was on confidence, and our discussion highlighted preparation as one of the biggest and best sources to build your confidence.
Author Jeff Janssen says, “If you have put in the work to better yourself and your game, you deserve the right to be confident.”
How much preparation do I put in before each game? What about before each at bat? Hours and hours. I made a comment to my coach the other day that I think the ratio of “throws to home plate” from leftfield that I make in practice compared to in a game are about 1,000 to 1.
But when that “1” does come, it’s probably the most important play of a game, or maybe even of the season. It makes all the preparation worth it.
This weekend I searched scripture for verses with the word “prepare”. There were nine occasions in the NIV translation—all used in different contexts but with the same common theme.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give your reason for the hope that you have.”
This verse fits in with today’s lesson perfectly. How much time do I spend in the Bible compared to actually answering the question of why do I live the way I do? A lot to a little, but when I am prepared for those times, I thank the Holy Spirit for the sweet time I have spent with Him.
Note the interesting part of this verse: it does not say, “prepare yourself” (like you would on the court or on the field). It says, “be prepared.” The passive use of this verb alludes that there is someone or something else that prepares us, rather than us preparing ourselves. This, my friends, is the Holy Spirit. We may make the time, but any wisdom or knowledge we receive of our Heavenly Father, any understanding or discernment, is all BY the Lord! We seek, then to let HIM prepare US.
As I continued this word study, Jesus revealed to me a new perspective. While I was seeking another reminder to prepare myself for Him, I learned that it is my Savior who has been preparing for me.
Read intently the following scripture:
John 14:2 says, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”
In the above passage, Jesus tells a parable painting a picture of the way He is preparing an individual place for us in heaven, wow. Just wait, it gets even better.
Matthew 25:34 says, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”
Yep that’s right, He is not just preparing it now. He has literally had it prepared for us since the world was created. That’s how sovereign and big our Almighty King is. Let’s look at one more:
2 Corinthians 2:9 says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
He has something so great, so incredible planned for His children that know Him—and no one person can even fathom what it is that He has prepared for us!
What God has prepared is individual, surpasses time, and is better than we could ever imagine.
So while we prepare to meet our God (Amos 4:12) and while He gave us everything we need to prepare us for a life of service to Him (Ephesians 4:11), He has already been preparing for us for all of eternity.
That, in His perfect preparation, is where we find our confidence.