Last week my article dealt with the opening weekend of College Football. I would like to continue a few thoughts this week around the same topic. When we consider the contact sport of football we understand that protection is a necessary element in this sporting event. A helmet, shoulder pads, rib pads and so on are worn in order to help protect some of the more vital areas of the body from injury. In football, a team will “suit up” to go onto the “field of battle”, where for four quarters, two teams will battle it out to determine a victor. However, football is not just about the muscle and brawn, but it also requires a tremendous amount of mental toughness. During the practice days before the game plays are rehearsed, different formations of an opposing defense or offence are gone over for the benefit of the players and coaches to make them all mentally ready for the game. In a spiritual application, this same type of preparation must take place if we are to gain victory over our opponent and his team. Yes, Satan is our opponent and he has a tough team to challenge us with. In order to be able to compete against Satan spiritually one must be prepared to do so. It begins first by becoming part of Christ’s team. It takes more than just saying I want to be on the team (the “sinners prayer”), but rather a total commitment. Total commitment is the giving of ourselves completely. This is done by hearing the Word of God (Rom.10:17), a total belief in Christ as Lord and savior (John 8:24), repenting of our sins (Luke 13:3), confessing Christ as the son of God (Matt. 10:32-33), and baptism for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38). When one has taken these steps, they become part of “Christ’s Team” and they are almost ready to be put into the “game”. Now that one is on the team, they must suit up and put on the protective gear in order to stand against the blows of Satan (Eph. 6:13-18), this is the whole armor of God. We also must understand we can’t just go into a game without knowing the “plays” and so it is with the spiritual nature. We must know the “plays” that is the word of the Lord in order to know what we must do to execute while in the game. This knowledge comes from studying the “play book”. “Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman that needs not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Now, when one has got on “the team” through their obedience of the word, they have put on their protective gear, and know the plays, they are ready to be put onto the field. The “Team Jersey” which is called a Christian is one to be worn with pride every day. At no point should one give up just because Satan and his team may have gained a couple of yards, we must fight the good fight of faith and take up our cross daily (1Tim. 6:12, 2 Tim.4:7, Lk. 9:23). You see my friends, being a Christian is definitely a battle of the “Grid Iron” and is not to be taken lightly. It is the most important “game” one will ever be in because at the end of this life, one will either receive the Victor’s crown, which is already won by Christ, or eternal condemnation and remembrance of loss for eternity. Which “Team” do you want to be on? If you want to be on the “Winning Team” let me know and I will be glad to recruit you! If you have questions or comments please let me know.
Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. Church of Christ (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next week this is the Scriptural Truth.