“You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.”
Exodus 30:29, NIV

In the sport of cricket, the practice ball is a dull red, soft and bouncy rubber ball. It is a bit heavy. But when the game is played, the ball is completely different. The game ball is not dull red, but rather shiny red. It is not made of rubber, but rather has a cork center with tightly wound layers of wool and finally a thin layer of leather on the outside. It is hand-stitched. I do not know why anyone would practice with a different ball than they would play with in a game!

But here is the picture. Each of us comes into the world like this. All of us have the same temptations, the same problems and the same root cause of selfishness. You can live your whole life like a dull, red ball. But you were never designed to be a practice ball. God has a plan and a purpose for your life. You are to be like the game ball. The game ball is used in cricket when it really matters. God wants to transform you from the dull, red ball into the beautifully crafted game ball that is now usable to make a difference.

But painting some shiny red paint on the outside will not do anything. The ball would have to be changed completely, and it would have to be changed from the inside out. You see, the game ball in cricket, having a solid cork core, is like the solid presence of the Lord Jesus in your life. Charles Wesley said that “sanctifying grace changes from the inside and then your life is wound around it.”

God loves you so much that He will continue to work in you so that you will be usable. Do not settle for being a dull practice ball. Let us all move to be the “game ball,” the one that makes a difference!

QUESTION: Do you feel more like the practice ball or the game ball? If you have the presence of the Lord as your core, what is keeping you from being used when it really counts?