Having grown up in the south, I was taught there are 4 seasons: winter, spring summer and football season. I grew up yelling at football players on TV to “Get him!!! Get that guy with the ball!” Which really sums up football. There’s these guys trying to stop the ball and there’s these guys trying to move the ball but there’s only one guy with the ball. For me, the most painful thing to watch is a quarterback sack. Usually from the quarterback’s blind side, a beast of a man plows him down and the game screeches to a halt. Everyone waits to see if the quarterback is going to get back up.
Now imagine that your life is a football game and God’s plan for the world is the ball. Carrying the ball for the Lord means living your life more for others than for yourself. It means striving to be the guy in the end zone scoring a crucial goal for the Lord. Whether it’s standing out as a Christian at work or inviting the neighbor kids to Vacation Bible school , you’ve scored a goal for the Lord.
But what’s easy to forget is that sometimes, you get tackled hard and do not want to get back up. In God’s football game, Satan and his team are the ones dishing out the hits. We feel the hits when we begin to believe the things Satan wants us to believe. Things like:
- “You can’t do this.”
- “Who do you think you are?”
- Are you sure this is a good idea?”
- “Maybe you didn’t hear God right.”
- “You’ve done enough. Just forget about this.”
- “Those people think you’re nuts.”
- “If it’s God’s plan, it wouldn’t be this hard.”
I’ve been sacked by each of those hits more than once. It’s so tempting to drop the ball and quit stepping out for the Lord. Is living God’s plan really supposed to be hard? Yes. In John 17:15 Jesus’ prayed this for His followers: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” In this verse, Jesus is telling us to expect 2 things. The first is that we should expect to go out into the world and to stand out as followers of Christ. The second is that when you step out, you’re going to need some protection from Satan. It makes sense to me that the more you step out and carry the ball, the more protection you’re going to need.
But do you know the thing that blows me away about this verse the most? It’s that Jesus knew that stepping out into the world as His believer would be hard so He already arranged for you to not go alone. That’s why He prayed that prayer. When the hits come- and they will come- turn to the power of prayer and scripture to get back up and head for the goal. Cuz there’s nothing like scoring one for the Lord!