I find it more than ironic, and perhaps to be expected, that our friend Jamey caught the typo in yesterday's message. He graciously pointed out the error because it actually changed the meaning of what I sought to convey, which led to my subsequent message of correction.
The irony involves the fact that Jamey is a tennis official. He referees both professional and college tournaments, and also officiated at the Summer Olympics in Rio last year. We have souvenir tennis balls from Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Olympics, most of which were balls actually used in matches. They hang on our Christmas tree every year as cherished ornaments, and reminders of our friendship with Jamey. Oh yes, he also brings my daughter the British potato chips they love when he travels to London for the annual Wimbledon tournament. He's that kind of guy!
I share this with you because it reminds me of another "Official" who serves to confirm or correct our thoughts, attitudes, words, deeds, and relating to God and people.
"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).
We will need the correction and redirection of the Holy Spirit throughout our lifetime. No born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is beyond the possibility of deception, distraction, and the disobedience that results from having detoured from the path of righteousness. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). We therefore require the Holy Spirit's guidance, or in Jamey's tennis parlance, we need the Spirit of God to say "Fault!" when our serve fails to land in the court. Sometimes the correction comes hard, and greatly challenges our own understanding and sensibility. "Thine arrows stick fast in me, and Thy hand presseth me sore" (Psalm 38:2). At other times, the Lord's rebuke seems more gentle. "Let Thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for Thy law is my delight" (Psalm 119:77).
My serve, as it were, missed the court yesterday in one of the sentences I wrote. I expressed the exact opposite of what I intended to communicate. Jamey called the shot out - "Fault!" - and I'm glad he did. On many other occasions, the Holy Spirit has ruled my serves out of bounds by His Spirit, His Word, His children, and His circumstantial working in my life. I'm glad He has, I'm glad He does, and I'm glad He will. I know you join me in thanking our Heavenly Father for both His confirmations and His corrections. He loves us enough to administer both aspects of His guidance. Let us bow heart and head to give thanks.
"Cleanse Thou me from secret faults."
Weekly Memory Verse
He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.