Spiritual Warfare Prep

Spiritual Warfare Prep
We Are In The Lord's Army

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Game of Life

  Today I was thinking about a basketball game. There is a player running down the court dribbling a ball, hoping that no interruptions happen that will cause him to lose the ball before he gets the chance to throw it into the hoop. If you notice though, there is always someone in front of him, by his side, or around him ready to take the ball away from him. Many times, the opponent  is successful, which means the other team gets the ball and then they start running down the court in the opposite direction. The table is turned. The one who stole the ball either is dribbling it down the court or has thrown it to another one on his team so he can dribble it down the court and throw it into the hoop and gain the points for his team. Notice though, how the guys playing defensive try to get the ball away from the one running with it. They are always in front of him, trying to distract him or cause him to lose the ball.
  When a person comes to Christ, it is much like the basketball player trying to get the ball into the hoop. Only our opponent is invisible. We don't see him standing in front of us trying to block our way as we go forward in our walk with the Lord. But the fact of the matter is, when you came to Christ, you didn't sign up to be in a war, but, like it or not, you are in one.

   You see, at the beginning of time, when God created Adam, and Eve, there was an opponent back then. In fact, the opponent attacked them and won. He tricked Eve into not trusting what God said, and taking the forbidden fruit that God told Adam not to take. Ever since that time, the devil who is our opponent, is constantly in front of us, beside us, behind us, and will attack any place that is vulnerable to us.
  For nonbelievers, or people who haven't come to Christ yet, the opponent tells these people lies. The lies would be that God isn't good, or that He isn't to be trusted. Also, that we really aren't sinful people in need of a Savior, but man is basically good. He tells the average person that he is good enough to go to heaven and be right with God, while he tells the prisoner, and those enslaved in sin that they are too bad for God to save. So, he keeps people to himself by lying to them, so they won't turn to God and be saved.
  For people who know the Lord, the opponent tells them lies too. There are so many lies that we believe, but the only way we can know the lies, from the Truth, is to know what Scripture says. We really can separate the truth from the lies when we spend time in God's word and getting to know Him better.
  In Genesis, We see the story of Cain and Abel. Abel offered the right kind of sacrifice before God. His sacrifice consisted of animals that were offered as a sacrifice. Later we learn in the Bible that God directed the people to offer sacrifices of animals for sin. In the New Testament, we see Jesus being the Ultimate Sacrifice for our sins. He is referred to as the 'Lamb of God' who shed His blood for us.
   Cain did not offer the right kind of sacrifice. He offered vegetables to God. He became angry when God did not accept his offering, but accepted Abel's offering, so he was jealous and killed Abel. God spoke to Cain and told him that 'sin would be crouching at the door' but Cain would have to master it. Cain was an angry man and did not keep the door shut when sin was on the other side.
   The opponent, who is the devil, is on the outside of the doors of our hearts. He isn't waiting for an invitation to come in. He will press hard so the door comes down and tempt us with sin. He can never make us sin, but he can persuade us that sin is good for us, with his many lies. Then he has us, when we believe his lies. The Bible says that whoever sins is a servant of sin. The devil's work consists of tempting us to sin, day and night, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks out of a year, all the years of our lives.
  The devil is much like the opponent on the opposing basketball team. He won't give up on us, because if he can persuade us to sin (note: he never makes us sin. We do that by choice), then we, who were created in God's image, bring dishonor to God's reputation and we misrepresent the true and living God. The devil has tons of tricks up his sleeves and will custom make them for each of us. So, with this in mind, how should we respond?
  The Bible tells us to put on the whole armor of God. You can find this in Ephesians chapter 6. If there is any place that is not covered, Satan will attack, probably with lies that we aren't prepared to resist. So, we need to be on guard by knowing Scriptures (not just memorizing, but digesting) and praying. God tells us that we need to have humility and resist the devil and he will flee. Of course, the devil will come back around at another angle. That's why we always have to be on guard.
   So, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are in the Game of Life. Remember, God is for you and will help you in time of need, if you call upon Him. We need to take the ball down the courts and score the basket, with nothing hindering us. Only when we are envisioned for winning, will we be able to have the grace and strength to overcome the devil and his tricks and temptations. And always remember, the ultimate battle is already one, though there were be many trials and difficulties for us while on earth. God is the Victor.
Note: I am not saying basketball players are the devil! I'm just coming up with an illustration that makes sense to us!

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