Ever since I was young, I loved to play softball. I started playing when I was in the third grade and played every year until I married. I wasn’t good, but I was faithful. I never missed a practice. You could count on me. I did have one thing going for me though, I could hit the ball.
My coach recognized this as a strength and ability and he showed me how to plant myself. I wasn’t that good in the outfield, but I could hit the ball. So the coach would put me in the lineup when people would be on base, and then I would bring them home. Sometimes I would bring myself home.
Have you noticed how ball players kind of dig a hole with their foot when they go up to bat? My coach would help me do this until I got to where I could do it by myself. He would tell me he needed me to hit the ball and bring Eva and Julia (my friends on base) home. He would take me to the plate and move my foot back and forth and tell me to set my foot right there. Then he said, “Now plant it, put pressure on it and don’t move it. When that ball comes to you, keep your eye on that ball, lean back and hit it and you will bring them home.” Every time I paid attention to him, it worked.
But if I was careless and began moving around, not obeying, I would either pop up or strike out. I remember the announcer, Mr. Young, saying, “Phyllis, stay planted and don’t move!” I probably heard this hundreds of times.
One day when I was reading my Bible I was reminded of this scenario in my life. In Matthew 13 Jesus likens us to seed being planted—God planted you—and if you will set your foot where He has placed you, put pressure on the Word and plant yourself, then when the enemy throws the ball, you will have what you need to lean back and hit it out where it won’t have an effect on you.
Plant means to fix in place, to set in the ground for growth. There are six areas that the Lord dealt with me about planting myself and I want to share them with you.
- Plant yourself in the Word of God. The Word of God needs to be constantly before our eyes, in our hearts and in our mouths.
- Plant yourself in a good church. You need a pastor who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. Psalm 1 talks about being planted like a tree by rivers of water. A tree with a strong root system can almost bend to the ground during a storm but it will come back up. Years ago, my husband and I were in one of Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin’s meetings. Mrs. Hagin spoke a few minutes, and I’ll never forget what she said, “Remember where your roots are—stay planted!” Don’t let the enemy uproot you.
- Plant yourself in your marriage. Don’t be looking for someone else. There are so many tactics of the enemy these days with technology and the entertainment business to get you off course with your marriage. First, you must believe that your marriage is supposed to be successful. Second, believe that your marriage is supposed to preach a message, and then do whatever it takes to walk in that conviction. Use the Word and allow God to make your home the best it can be.
- Plant yourself in your children. It is the parents’ responsibility to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. No one has influence on your children like you do. You must see yourself as good seed in your children’s lives. Mine are grown now, but they never leave my heart or get away from my prayers. Because I am planted in their lives, the Spirit of God brings things up out of my heart to pray for them.
- Plant yourself in your business or job. You see so many people get tired of this or that and say, “just forget it!” Instead of planting themselves and giving God the opportunity to bless them, they uproot because of offense and strife and think the grass is greener somewhere else, but it is not. Like my husband says, “Wherever you go, there you are.” So plant yourself and let God promote you. Bring forth much fruit in that place.
- Plant yourself in good relationships. Be a real friend. Don’t be a truce breaker and don’t gossip. One time I got in a lot of trouble with my dad and coach while playing ball. We had a community park dog at the ballpark. He was huge from eating hot dogs, potato chips, etc. I was out in right field and the dog came to me and I was petting and hugging him when I heard people screaming my name. About that time there went a ball right by me, but I was too busy with the dog to get the ball. The Bible says to beware of dogs. I know it sounds funny, but they will keep you from planting yourself. As much as I love them, dogs are selfish. All they want is for you to feed them and pet them and play with them. There will be people who want you to pet them or feed them gossip. They want you to play their game, but don’t do it. Our friends should be those who sharpen us. Iron sharpens iron. We are to be kind, cordial and given to hospitality, but we should choose to be around people who sharpen us and put something into us.
Over the years there have been times when I have said to my husband, “Honey, you can trust me. I am not going anywhere. I am here to stay”—just planting, getting roots down. Purpose in your heart to be planted and don’t let anything uproot you. You will be successful and bear much fruit to the glory of God.