The Ohio State University Buckeyes had their season opener Saturday with a brand-new coach who most believe will be very good for the program. It was a big win, but there is a long season ahead. They will face some tough opponents. Only time will tell how ready they are for each.
Where are you in your life? What challenges have come your way? Just like a good football team, what are you doing to prepare for your next opponent? Most people I know just kind of stumble their way through life. They are not really preparing for anything. Instead, they are reacting to what happens as it comes. Bad plan.
That is one thing that should separate the follower of Jesus from others who are doing life on their own. We should be following the coach’s plan laid out in the Bible, listening to the coaching of the Holy Spirit and getting further help from our teammates, those who are part of our church family. As disciples of Jesus, we are a part of an incredible team, a winning team. Ever read the book of Revelation? Jesus and his team win.
Following Jesus is a complete-team sport. The more we try to be a one-person team, the more we leave ourselves open to being tackled, or worse yet, coughing up the ball and losing control. That is when we get put on the defensive and life is a lot more challenging and tough.
You and I must prepare for the battles of this life in proactive ways. It starts by putting on the full team uniform, called the “armor of God” in Ephesians 6:10-18. None of this armor goes on by accident, any more than our clothes do every day. This is a tough battle, neighbor, so suit up and get ready by proper preparation ahead of time.
This is where life imitates sports. If a team does not prepare for the game ahead, they are going to get smashed. Please know that the devil has been practicing his offense for a lot longer than you. Why try to fight him alone? Get all the weapons, gear and help that you can so you will be ready to do battle against this masterful foe. Never forget the promise of I John 4:4. God the Father has done all that is needed for us already (John 3:16-17; Romans 5:6-11 & 6:23).
How can I be sure of all this? The God of Jesus Christ has always taken care of us, seen us through to victory and led us to a place of peace. Please know there have been some very difficult things and times for us. And there will be more for sure. But I keep working on that armor of God in my life. Need to know more? Give me a call, neighbor. See you around Patterson.
The Rev. Ken Hasekamp is pastor of Adventure Christian Church. Sermon Notes is a column by local religious leaders.