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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Football and Spiritual Conflict

The NFL will kick off its preseason next week. That’s good. Now those of us who enjoy pro football will have something to watch after the boys of summer put aside their bats and gloves in October. Of course, many of us will choose our favorite team to win the Super Bowl, but the harsh reality of misplaced confidence will strike us hard in January.

Oh well, football is only a game in spite of the riveted attention we give it. However, the struggle between good and evil is life impacting with eternal consequences, and it demands our careful attention. Since sin entered the human race, the devil and his “team” have opposed God and His people relentlessly in every season of life. The conflict rages without a truce or a timeout. But believers are on the right side. Ultimately, God will end the conflict by gathering believers in Heaven, our eternal Home and banishing the devil and his followers, including unbelievers from every period of history, to eternal punishment.

We may feel scorched by the devil’s hot breath now, but he will not defeat us. We are on the winning team. Our favorite football team may not win the Super Bowl, but we are “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

“Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing,

Were not the right man on our side, The man of God’s own choosing.

Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He—

Lord Sabaoth His name, From age to age the same,

And He must win the battle.”

—Martin Luther