Chasing 206 runs in a T20 game is never easy. But Chennai Super Kings pulled it off as Ravi Jadeja's edged a four off the last ball of the 20th over bowled by Vinay Kumar of Bangalore Royal Challengers on 12 April 2012 in Indian Premier League - Season 5. It was an incredible win which was the result of astounding team work. Faf du Plessis, the Chennai opening batsman from South Africa, laid the foundation for the successful chase. Chennai needed a strong start and du Plessis provided just that. He scored 71 runs off 46 balls studded with five 4s and four 6s. When about 15 runs an over was needed off the last five overs, Captain MS Dhoni kept Chennai in the hunt with some lusty blows and clever running between the wickets, scoring 41 off just 24 before his helicopter shot landed prematurely in the safe hands of substitute fielder Dilshan. 43 needed off 12 balls was the new equation. It was then, ice-cool Albie Morkel, the South African allrounder walked in. Part-time bowler Virat Kohli was given the ball, as all the other main-line bowlers had finished their quota. He butchered the bowling of Kohli for 28 runs in that over with some unbelievable blows turning the match on its head. Kohli, one of the fierce competitors playing the game, was left scratching his head in disbelief. In the final over - the 20th over - Morkel perished off the second ball. Now, Chennai needed 14 off 4 balls with Dwayne Bravo, the West Indian allrounder on strike. As Vinay Kumar bowled above-waist wide, he sensationally sent that delivery into the orbit and it ran away for a boundary. The next ball, he hit an one-handed six over point! Chennai now needed just 3 runs off 3 balls. Bravo was beaten in the next ball he faced. The tension was unbearable. He managed a single off the next ball, leaving Ravi Jadeja, to score 2 off the last ball. Jadeja outside-edged Vinay Kumar's last ball to give Chennai an out-of-the-world, thrilling, win.
See what can happen when the efforts of 3 allrounders from three nations - Morkel from South Africa, Bravo from West Indies and Jadeja from India - came together! See what can happen when you play as a team!
When it comes to our Christian walk, we need to play as a team so that we win over Satan, first and win the lost, next.
WINNING OVER TEMPTATION WITH THE HELP OF OUR BROTHERS/SISTERS IN CHRIST -
In order to win over temptation we need to exhort each other so that none of us may be hardened by deceitfulness of sin, the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us (Heb 3:13). The neglecting of meeting fellow believers to receive encouragement often comes before a backsliding season and deliberate sin session (Heb 10:24,25,26). David's fellowship with Prophet Nathan helped him not only to repent from his secret sin of adultery but also prevented him from committing adultery further down in his life. Do you have Nathan-like friends in your life? Friends who will question you when you go wrong, not just appreciate you when you are on song? Friends, who will ask, "When was the last time you looked at porn?" Friends who will ask, "Why are not talking with that girl for the last six months?"
WINNING OVER THE LOST TO THE FOLD OF CHRIST WITH THE HELP OF OUR BROTHERS/SISTERS IN CHRIST -
Paul would plant (by preaching the Gospel first) and then an Apollos would water (by preaching messages on how to grow in the Christian faith) - and God would grant winning Christian growth - this is the plan of God (I Cor 3:6). One of the reasons why we do not share the Gospel at all is this thought that comes to our mind: "The person I am thinking of sharing the Gospel with, will not become a believer after I share the Gospel with him/her then and there. So, why start the process at all?" We forget that God can use us to just plant the seed of the Gospel and use one of our brothers/sisters in Christ to water the seed we planted, down the line, may be, years later. God has graciously raised ministries like the one Dr. Ravi Zacharias leads and others like him like Josh McDowell, C. S. Lewis, J.P. Moreland, etc, do. These ministries help to prepare the ground for the sowing of the Gospel by answering intellectual questions on the mind of the Gospel-hearer. Bodily healing and miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit also brings the hardened skeptic further closer to Christ and we know there are ministries that specialize on that. The simple, direct preaching of the Gospel which the ministries of preachers like Dr. Billy Graham and many others, often brings the soul to a point of commitment of life to Christ. A soul is often lead to Christ by an one on one conversation a non-believer has with a believer with a good testimony. The local church pastor and other traveling evangelists further preach messages that help this new believer grow and stay rooted in Christ. This chain forever continues till a soul is fully won to Christ and reaches the shores of eternity, safely. So, we need each other and need to work with each other in order to win the lost for Christ. If we 'bite and devour' each other, instead of encouraging and supporting each other, then we will be 'consumed' - the Bible warns (Gal 5:15).
In short we must, as Paul writes, "encourage one another and build one another up" (I Th 5:11).