As I think of the exhilaration and anxiousness these players, coaches and fans must be experiencing, it makes me think of the battle we face as Christians, every day as we walk out of our doors into the world.
In my last blog, I mentioned that Pastor Bob at FBCH is leading our church in a sermon series on putting on “the Armor of God”. We are in a war against the powers of the dark world! We must be prepared for whatever comes our way. Paul, in Ephesians 6:10-17 says:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
What if Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ran out on the field today without his helmet, shoes or body gear? Steelers fans would loudly protest! And of course, the NFL would raise a flag. Could you imagine how the fans would feel, the anxiety and fear that the player, coaches and his fellow teamates would experience, if Ben played without his gear? They would cringe and be terrified, for surely their precious quarterback would get injured being in such a vulnerable, unprotected state.
Just as our military, police men and women and our sports players “gear up” for whatever “war” they are preparing to face, we as Christians must suit up every day as well. We need to wear our gear to protect ourselves from the schemes of the devil, who will do his best to tear us down, especially if WE are vulnerable and not wearing our full armor of God.
So. . .players, take this challenge and commit to put on your armor every morning, maybe even before your feet hit the floor. Put this on with me and stand firm! Put on your belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, guard yourself with the shield of faith and take up your helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit.
Now we are ready, I say, “Game ON!” Let’s do this. :)