Basketball has been on my heart. I had a dream that I was shooting hoops, and I have also been watching videos of basketball. Tonight, I decided to go shoot some hoops alone with God. Here’s what He showed me:
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like playing basketball. The ball represents the Word of God, the player represents the doer, and the hoop represents the heart of a person. Handling the ball represents the milk, shooting the ball represents the meat. As you know the milk is the elementary teachings, the essentials, the foundation, the basics. And the meat is to do the will of the Father. As a man gets familiar with a basketball, he gets familiar with the Word of God, knows every detail, how it feels, has become personal to them, and they know how to dribble it back and forth. But until they start shooting the ball, the ball is useless. That’s why the man represents the doer. Shooting the ball is doing the Word, and the one who practices gets the hang of it.
“Phil, you are one that exercises faith, you have entered in. As you continue shooting you begin to know the distance of where you shoot, the position of which you shoot, and such. Though it is easy to give up, you always look for that good thing, the sound of the net when the ball goes in. It is the response of the heart when the Word of God sinks in. Every heart is meant for the Word of God to sink in. That’s how it was created. The ball and the hoop are actually inseparable because My Kingdom is in the heart of man. The word of God resonates with the heart. However, the mind may not like it at first, and this represents the rim of the hoop. The rim is the hardness of the heart, the mind of man, yet the ball can still sink into the hoop. This means that there is always hope for a person. You, as you practice shooting, will know how to deliver the ball into the hoop, getting easier and easier, until it is nothing but net. As you practice, you realize more about the ball-handling and how to deliver because at first you might have began with nothing, but now you know how to position yourself for the ball to sink in. You might have had to change some habits because there are better ways.
“Remember when you played basketball in middle school and there was one angle in which you knew really well and you kept sinking the ball in every shot, but couldn’t on the opposite angle? This means that you know how to really represent the Word of God in one angle because you’ve experienced it yourself, knowing the ins and outs, yet on the opposite angle, it is a little more difficult because you’re inexperienced. Surely, I tell you, you will know how to shoot the ball from every angle, and every time the ball sinking in. Even when you miss, you know how to rebound and make the closer shot. This is what I love about you, Phil. You never give up. No matter how many times you miss, no matter how foolish you may look doing it, you always get up and shoot because you know eventually it will sink in. It is because your focus is the hoop. You look to hearing the sound of the net. You are seeking first the Kingdom of God, and not focused on yourself. For how else can you shoot accurately, unless your eyes are up and focused? When you become focused on yourself, that’s when things don’t work, but when you keep your focus above, on the hoop, you will always sink in a shot.
“Also, as you continue playing, you realize that when it becomes fun and restful rather than play hard and work, it will be easier and easier because you are simply having fun with it. You will realize that the more restful it is to play, the easier it is and the more shots you make.
“Everywhere you go, there is always a hoop, and you always have a basketball. You are the child the keeps shooting no matter who’s watching. You will even shoot and miss…the first time, but you know how to rebound the ball. You are not afraid of who’s watching you. And then after you’re done playing, you will notice your hands are dirty.”