Breaking the Curse of Your Past

During the next week, the MLB World Series will take place between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians.  Both of those teams have a history of championship lack. The Cubs last won the World Series in 1908 and Cleveland last won the World Series in 1948. 

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Each team has long held onto the belief of some sports curse.  The Indians have the Curse of Rocky Colavito  and the Cubs have the curse of the Billy Goat.  However, one of these franchises is about to be World Series Champions and break the curse of their past.  

Can you learn something from these two teams that can break the curse of your past and move you to victory in your life?

I started to think how long suffering faithless teams got themselves into positions to receive a blessing of a championship.  Which led me to think about it from a biblical perspective. I noticed both of these franchises and the cities they inhabit have increased their faith in major ways in the past year.  I want to share my observations about the newly exhibited faith of those two clubs to show you something very important about how God works.

The principles of the Bible work whether you believe in God or not. 

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God has designed our world to work in specific ways.  For example, if non-Christians are married but still show love to their spouse by serving the spouse first and themselves second that marriage will be blessed (Eph. 5:21-33).  The principles of marriage are to act as the example of how Christ loves us in the same way and how we are blessed because Jesus shows us His love by being a servant of all.

Another principle of the Bible that works whether you believe in God or not is faith.  Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance of what we do not see (Heb. 11:1).  God ultimately wants us to use our faith to believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. However, our faith is not limited to being used for that one choice in life.  We know that because Christ said that when we put our faith in Him all things are possible (Mark 9:23).

Yet, faith is available to Christians and Non-Christians alike.  Faith is putting full and complete trust in something that cannot be seen.  In other words, we believe with all our hearts that something specific in the future is going to happen.  Christ says that faith in Him makes the impossible possible, and while faith in worldly things can bear wanted results, those results may not be inside the will of God.

While I do not wish to get into the ends and outs about faith working in and out of God’s will, I do want to show you in basic terms how the principles of faith can turn even the worst situations around for the better.

Principles of Faith

The basic principles of faith align with the definition from Hebrews 11:1.  If we need to put our trust in something specific to happen in the future.  The principles of faith are this:

1)     Define where you are putting your trust

2)     Define what results you desire

3)     Share those definitions with others

I have seen the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians do all three of these things recently.  I believe they found their way into the World Series because they both recently changed their expectations from being cursed to being poised to receive a blessing through faith. Wether they realized they were doing it or not.

The Indians and the Cubs believed long before this week that they were no longer cursed, they believed their future had success that they couldn’t see.  They were no longer worried about their past but excited about the future. That is what faith looks like.

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The Chicago Cubs

Let’s look at some of the principles of faith the cubs exhibited this past year.

1)     Define where you are putting your trust

The Cubs have not said they are putting their trust in God and neither have the Indians for that matter, but they put their trust in something to break their curse.  For the Cubs it comes down to a handful of different people they paid A LOT of money in.  They paid their general manager Theo Epstein to a contract worth upwards of $50 million and their on field manager Joe Maddon around $25 million.  Thats $75 million to two guys who don't even play!  The paid $160 million to new free agent players just so they could have them this season. That money shows trust to change the future before it happens.

Look at the faith the Cubs had in people to change the future of a long-suffering franchise.

I understand lots of teams spend money and that action by itself does not create break the curse of your past faith.  However, in the case of the Chicago Cubs it wasn’t just money.  They started declaring that these specific people would lead them to World Series Victory and not just improve the team.

2)     Define What Results You Want

Upon His hiring as Cubs General Manager, Theo Epstein announced his faith that the Cubs would soon play regularly in the playoffs and appear in the World Series under his watch.  Both of those things have now happened. 

The goals of our faith should be directed somewhere.  Faith needs a focus.  Whether it is Heaven as our eternal home through salvation, seeing a person healed through prayer or setting and believing for specific goals at our job to happen.

3)     Share Those Definitions with others

Epstein was quick to share his goals for the Cubs with others.  The Cubs organization believed in that vision.  That is why spent money to get specific personnel and players that fit the vision.  Their faith in their new team transferred over into the media.  The media created a tidal wave of faith in the Chicago Cubs to go to the World Series this year.  A team that hadn’t been to the World Series in since 1908 was picked by most of National Media as the team most likely to go this year.

Think about that for a moment.  In our culture, where we believe things will happen only after we see it.  We don’t often believe in long shots. Yet, this year the Chicago Cubs found the faith of a nation in their team, even though they should've been the biggest underdog based on past results. 

Is following the principles of faith why the Cubs are playing in the World Series this year?

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The Cleveland Indians

The Indians didn’t take the same faith road the Chicago Cubs took, but it was still a road of faith.  They didn’t spend all this money to get certain people and they were not heralded before the start of the year as World Series favorites.  Yet, here they are facing off with a 50% chance of being World Series champions.

Let’s look at how the principles of faith worked to get the Cleveland Indians to the World Series.

1)     Define where you are putting your trust.

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The city of Cleveland has a storied history of major sports teams, yet until this year they hadn’t won a major sports championship since 1948.  Decades of title drought, doubt and perceived curses stifled the faith of the city of Cleveland. Until LeBron James.

LeBron James doesn’t play professional baseball, but I believe he was who Cleveland put their faith in to break the curse of their past.  In 2016, James led the NBA Cavilers to the first major sports championship in Cleveland.  Seeing their curse broken allowed Cleveland's faith find victory.  Seeing their faith rewarded allowed them to put their faith for other things in their future to come to life, including a championship in multiple sports.

2)     Define the results you want

 The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is July 31st.  In the days and weeks leading up to that date teams will move players and salaries to other teams based on the faith the have in their teams to finish the year in the playoffs.  Teams that are unlikely to go to the playoffs will usually sell their better players for draft picks and other younger players.  While winning teams use those better players to help get their team to the World Series.

In previous years, the Indians were usually selling those better players.  This year though, they had faith in going to the World Series, even when others didn’t.  Cleveland made more major moves at the deadline than every other teams.  Those short term decisions could help a team win now but hurt the team going further.  The Indians didn not care, they defined the terms of their future.  They wanted to win and they wanted to win now, regardless of the cost.

3)     Share those definitions with others

One of the greatest principles of faith I saw from Cleveland happened a while back.  One day I was looking through Netflix and found a documentary called “Believeland.”  This film was about the lack of major sports championships in Cleveland.  However, the moral of the story was that the city was believing for better.  They knew they were close to receiving the championship they had hoped for so long.

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That movie came out before they won an NBA Championship and before they knew the Indians were going to the World Series.  They knew their history was not successful, but they put faith in the future to be better.  This film was full of encouraging words from the people, sports fans and players of Cleveland.  They spoke about how the future of major sports in Cleveland would not continue to be as bad as it once was.

This film, more than any article or player signing showed me the faith of Cleveland was to break the curse of their past and put their faith in a better future. 

Where are you putting your faith?

As intruiging as it may be seeing baseball teams exhibit faith in people and money to gain wanted results, how much greater is it when we put our faith and trust in Jesus and allow anything to be possible through faith in Him.

How can we break the curse of our pasts and put our faith in Christ for a better future?

1)     Define where you are putting your trust

We put our trust in many things including our jobs to support us financially or our spouse to love us.  It is easier for us to put faith in things we can see and understand.  We cannot see Christ, but we can understand Him.  Christ speaks to those that know Him (John 10:27). If you want to know Christ, you just need to repent of your sins and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. 

The world puts their trust in people, money and places.  None of which love us like Christ, who lived a perfect life and died as payment for our sins.  I found that when I put my trust in Christ the gambling addiction that cursed my life for so long fell away.  I thought that my addiction was impossible to break, but my faith in Christ delieverd me from that sin and proved that the impossible is possible through Him.

Do you need to put your trust in Christ to change impossible situations in your life today?

2)     Define the results you want

What are you looking for today? Are you looking for hope, peace or joy?  What about a promotion in your career? How about wanting to grow your family? Do you want to see yourself or someone you know healed?

The results we are looking for in our lives are limitless.  We just have to define it.  You may not need a championship trophy, but your life could use something.  I needed grace to overcome a horrible gambling addiction which overtook my life and provided no hope for my future. 

What do you want your future to look like?  Put your trust in Christ to make that happen and remember that ALL things are possible through Him.

3)     Share your faith with others

Cleveland made a movie and the media bought the championship vision of Chicago Cubs. Either way, they shared their faith for their futures to get better and we watched as they did. 

Your future is so much greater to God than that of a MLB team.  Putting our faith in Jesus as Lord allows Him to watchover and change our future in the ultimate way – which is Eternal life in Heaven.  However, that eternal life in Christ begins the moment we receive salvation but is activated through faith.

Once you put your faith in Christ and decide what you are going to pray and believe God for/to do in your life, begin sharing that with others.  Your family, your friends, co-workers, or social media. Don’t be afraid to put your confidence in God and your hope in the unseen things of the future. 

It doesn't matter what you've been through or what you're going through. Jesus Christ can bring you through it and allow victory to come to even the most unlikely person or situation.  Put your faith in Jesus today to move away from the past you are known for and into the future God made for you.

Your faith in Christ will break curses off your past and bring victory to your life today!









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