In basketball, a personal foul is the most common type of foul. It results from contact between two opposing players. If a player receives six personal fouls in one game they are ejected. Your adversary loves to call fouls against you. He wants to condemn you, to make you feel guilty and rejected by God. He knows he will have victory over you if he can get you out of the game. Here is the thing about fouls, your enemy can call them, but he cannot enforce them. He does not have the authority to eject you.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” – Matthew 28:18 ESV
God knows every intimate detail about you. He knows about the fouls you are going to commit, the free throws you are going to miss and the shots you are going to take.
Fouls: Spiritually speaking, a foul is an infraction against God. Fouls are unavoidable. When you commit a foul (sin) and repent, God not only forgives you, but He also forgets the infraction. The Lord declares, “I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again (Isaiah 43:25).” Now, if you are committing too many fouls, God will bench you. For those whom He loves He corrects and disciplines (Revelations 3:19), but He will never kick you off the team. So, forgive yourself just as God has forgiven you, and believe that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Missed Free Throws: In basketball, a free throw is an unopposed shot. As Christians, we miss too many free throws. Prayer is a free throw. Worship is a free throw. Reading your bible, going to church, tithing and being kind to others are all free throws. Are you a good free throw shooter? Players improve their free throw percentage through repetition. The more they shoot, the more productive they become. The more you seek God, the better your life will be. Come near to God and He will come near to you (James 4:8). For God love those who love Him and those who seek Him will find mercy, grace and favor (Proverbs 8:17). If you commit to making more free throws you will become a more effective player (Christian).
Shot Selection: Lay-ups and dunks are the easiest shots to make and have a higher percentage of being successful. Three-point shots are more difficult and have a lower percentage of being successful (unless you are Steph Curry) but are worth more points. What type of shots are you shooting? Dunks and lay-ups (our plans) are often safe and easy because living in familiarity and contentment does not require much faith.
God wants you to shoot the three-point shot, to trust Him for more. So, pursue whatever it is He has put in your heart. Pursue His kingdom, pursue the career, pursue the relationship and pursue the business venture. God wants to bless you beyond measure (2 Corinthians 9-8) but cannot if you do not believe He is able to do immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
In God’s eyes, it does not matter how many shots you take or miss. If you put your trust in Him, you will make the biggest shot of your life. So, stop fouling and practice your free throws because your breakthrough and blessing is one shot away.