God has been working on my heart lately, bringing me to a place of surrender — learning to give up all control to Him — whether that’s on the field or off. But most of the time it’s on the field.
Lately I’ve been working through adjustments in my delivery, but instead of dwelling on these changes and the discouragements I run into, I’m giving them over to God. Instead of trying to drive these changes home by my own ability, I’m leaning into the strength and wisdom He offers. I know God can do it. He provides for me endlessly, and through both the good and bad circumstances He shows me an insurmountable peace, as well as a confidence in Him that cannot be stopped — one I’ve never experienced before. Why would I limit my expectations of what He can do?
God’s Word says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). It also says, “You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:2-3).
In order to pray really big prayers, you need to believe it’s going to happen.
In the game of baseball, we’re all always wanting to get better. It’s just something you need to do to stay on top in this game. There are always new up-and-comers who are looking to take your spot. The greatest lesson to learn in all of this is to trust that God has your back; He’s got you. You don’t have to let the worries of this process consume you. That’s been one of the hardest struggles for me, something that would have completely consumed me in the past. But recently, God’s been calling me to a new level of peace. Now, when I have an awesome day on the field, having already given it over to God, I praise the Lord! I know it’s through His power that we found victory. He answers prayers, provides abundantly and exceeds our expectations when we go to Him in faith.
That’s not to say we don’t have to work hard. Hard work is needed regardless of where your hope is placed. God does call us to work our hardest and put our best foot forward in whatever capacity we’re in, but we need to know we don’t have to rack our brain to make that happen on our own. We simply have to do our best and trust in Him. He’s laid the groundwork for me; He knows what’s going to happen next. My job is to trust in Him and relentlessly push forward, knowing He’s already created and ordained the path set before me.
Baseball is a competitive game, with players on the same team fighting for positions at all times. But God calls us to put others first. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing my teammates have both personal success and bring success to our team. If you are wrapped up in selfish ambition, not only will your own soul start to rot within you, your team isn’t going to get where they need to be either. Don’t give the enemy a foothold. Put your eyes on Christ and let your selfishness go to the wayside. Only when we do that will He provide abundantly more for us than we could ever imagine.
The goal is to let others see Christ’s light shining in us, so that when they look at us, they don’t actually see us, they see Christ in us.
— Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers pitcher
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.