Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: The Heart of a Warrior - Adam Wainwright

Continuing from last year, I and a handful of other baseball guys are going through a year-long study of God’s Word together. It’s really fruitful because we have men from all areas of their walk—some have been Christians since childhood and others are just beginning to understand the Gospel, so everyone has a completely different perspective. As each of us picks up on different truths to discuss, we can grow deeper together in our knowledge of God and His Word.

One thing I love about this study is experiencing the excitement of a person’s newfound faith all over again. I love watching men find Christ and become so eager to soak up His truth that they can’t wait to open their Bibles each day. Recently I watched this happen to a guy who just gave his life to Christ during Spring Training. This guy is a history fanatic so as he’s reading the Old Testament he says to me, “I’m loving everything I’m reading! I’m diving deeper into it and looking into the historical aspect of it.” My response was, “Just know that there are going to be portions of the Bible (like Exodus and Numbers) that are going to be a little slower, reading lineages—names after names—it will get monotonous at times.” But he quickly corrected me…“I love that part! It makes the Word more alive, I can trace it back to historical accounts and know that it’s real!”

This is the new-and-exciting type of faith that I want to have on a constant basis, not a complacent faith, but one that’s thriving and diving deeper daily. It’s a faith that says, “God’s Word is always good enough.”

With a baseball schedule that has me getting in from a game sometimes as late as 3AM, and then waking up at noon the next day, and often on the road at random intervals, it’s hard to have a constant routine for reading my Bible, but I make time for what’s important. There are always distractions to keep me away but even though it’s sometimes tough to find time to read God’s Word, I’m always refreshed when I do. I need it.

Right now I’m reading in the book of Joshua—one of my favorite books of the Bible. As a guy who loves war movies, I can picture Joshua starring in Braveheart, Gladiator, or 300; he would make a perfect Maximus Meridius or William Wallace! Similarly, the books of Joshua or Nehemiah read like a good war movie. To me, Joshua is the model of strength—he had the heart of a warrior. Having learned from Moses how to listen to God and lead His people, He truly trusted God’s word and followed Him wherever He led.

I want to be like Joshua, a guy who when he was following Moses, followed him well. He submitted to the authority that God had put above him and then without question, stepped into leadership when he was called. Answering to God Himself, Joshua was an amazing leader who walked in step with his Leader.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:9

In situations where I am called to follow, I want to follow well. When God calls me to lead, I want to lead well, with a good heart, knowing that I’m leading exactly how God would want me to lead. Like Joshua, I want to hear the truth of God and obey it, keeping my eyes focused on whatever God is calling me to do today.

—Adam Wainwright

For more, check out Adam’s interview on the Sports Spectrum podcast with Jason Romano.

Adam Wainwright has been a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals since 2005. He is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

The INCREASE is now part of The Sports Spectrum Network. For more stories like this, visit