Laast year the Florida basketball team lost to Kentucky. Kentucky did not win, we lost. I suspect that over the next days, coach Billy Donovan pointed out in detail, and possibly at volume, exactly how the players managed to lose a game in which they were vastly superior. All year, he had difficulty getting the team to play his way. In fact, he benched players to try to wake up his playmakers once pulled a starting player for most of a game. Here is a coach who has won two national championships and numerous conference championships and is on the list of all time winning coaches and they will not listen to him! Instead of running the game the way he makes them practice, the playmakers descend into “street ball.” Only 1 of our 5 losses came at the hands of a team that played better, they had one of those Cinderella nights and just won. Many of our wins came because the team was good enough to win despite ignoring the coach, but his frustration was evident on the sideline.
Our war has already been won. The scripture is abundantly clear that Jesus defeated Satan at the cross, and cast him down (Rev 12, Lk 17). The game has been won. There is no way we can lose, Jesus is helping and the Spirit is guiding as an on-the-floor playmaker. When we sin, one can hear Jesus saying, “What part of ‘no temptation above what you are able to bear,’ did you fail to understand? Why are you playing street ball instead of my championship game?”
“If God is for us, who is against us?” The answer is that we are. We excuse ourselves by saying the situation is different in the game, by deceiving ourselves that “we are doing the best we can,” or by our hope that if we think on the Lord’s Supper real, real hard, that will fix everything.
Jesus has to be even more frustrated than Coach Donovan. So much more is at stake. He gave so much more to make our victory certain. And again and again, we lose games because we do not listen to our heavenly coach.
Jesus played the game on our court and HE WON. He can make us champions and lead us to victory—but we must stop playing our own game.