Home Field Advantage

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 

Home field advantage can mean everything in sports. Teams who are at home often have a far better record than those on the road. When a team has someone cheering them on, they can often outplay their ability and their opponents. Try watching a Atlanta Falcons football game in Atlanta or a Patriots game in Foxboro and you will get the picture. 

The Bible says that you, too, have an audience cheering you on. Nothing you do is private. You have an audience. Heaven is watching. But, more importantly, you have a cheering section. The Bible says that everyone in Heaven is cheering you on.

You probably realize that God knows everything. The Lord doesn’t miss a thing. He knows your ups and downs. He knows every thought you have. He knows more about you than you know about yourself. He knows of every decision you have and will ever make. 

He knows exactly how many times the enemy has knocked you down and tried to take you out. 

But God is in your corner and He has no intention of throwing in the white towel for you to end your fight. God is cheering you on to keep up the good fight. To get up when you get knocked down. 

God is in your corner.  He is your biggest fan, your biggest cheerleader, your greatest encourager, and the greatest coach in the universe that has a winning plan for your life!

But you’re also surrounded by "a huge cloud of witnesses to this life of faith.” Every believer who has ever lived is in the stands watching you live out your faith.  People like King David, The Apostle Paul, Peter and thousands of others who have gone before you. 

Your “Forever Family” at Encounter is your biggest fan club this side of heaven. Encounter at the Sanctuary on Friday nights is your home field advantage. 

They’re cheering you on. When you’re scared, they’re rooting for you to be courageous. When you want to give up, they’re urging you to keep going. When you feel insignificant and forgotten, they’re in your corner. When you fall down, they’re cheering for you to get back up. 

When it seems like you have no strength to carry on they take their cheer leading to another level because they know you are just one step, one decision, one healthy wise choice from getting your second wind and never looking back. 

For those of you who are or were athletes, you know what a second wind is. A second wind is something that can only happen when you physically press on to the point where you cannot take another step, take another breath…and when you think you don’t have the strength to move forward, this resurgence of energy comes out of nowhere and nothing can stop the momentum you now have. 

You are faster, stronger than you have ever been. You never get tired and nothing can stop you when you have this second wind. It is an experience that only those who persevere under the most grueling conditions ever experience.

Spiritual growth and recovery is no different. You will never experience the power of the second wind until you exhaust yourself of all your natural efforts. Until you get to the point where you can’t take another step, spiritually, relationally, physically, and emotionally. 
When you feel like you don’t have an ounce of faith to pray, to take your thoughts captive, to put on the armor of God, to call your support team, to apply these principles, to forgive your offenders, to think clearly and even find the will to live.

Then consider Him, “Jesus Christ,” so you will not grow weary and lose heart. 
This passage will be our key verse this Friday night as we talk about how denial can be an ugly thing. I am so stoked about this teaching because so many of you are fixing your eyes on Jesus. So many of you are considering Him. You are not losing heart and growing weary. In fact, you have renewed energy and focus. You are experiencing the power of the second wind. 

We are so excited that you are part of this amazing ministry of healing, growth and discipleship. 

I look forward to seeing you all at Encounter this Friday and teaching these life changing principles that we all need. 

Be Blessed and Encouraged

Bill Rieser
Encounter Pastor