As a former sportswriter, a diehard Indiana Hoosiers Basketball fan, and a lifelong cheerleader, I pretty much live for March Madness. While basketball fans across the United States make travel arrangements and prepare to cheer on their favorite teams in the Big Dance, the coaches and teams who were fortunate enough to make it into the tourney are also in full-out preparation mode.
You can bet as soon as those teams found out who their opponents would be in the first round, they had their players in the practice rooms watching game film.
It’s good to know details about our enemy—the devil—so that we can be aware of his tricks and trademark moves.
So they can see the other team’s weaknesses, strengths, go-to plays, as well as individual player’s strengths, weaknesses and patterns. The coach studies the other team’s game footage to notice the screens, the cuts, the movement before the shot, as well as how the team gets its best players into position to make the best plays.
Alan Stein, owner of Stronger Team and the strength and conditioning coach for the nationally renowned Nike elite DeMatha Catholic High School basketball program, had this to say about the importance of watching game film:
“Great players are students of the game. They watch film. They study opponents….”
In other words, a coach and his players watch the opposing team’s game film in order to gain an advantage in the upcoming faceoff. If you know what to expect out of your opponent, you’ll be better prepared to outmaneuver him and come away with a win.
That same principle is true when dealing with the enemy in our spiritual lives. It’s good to know details about our enemy—the devil—so that we can be aware of his tricks and trademark moves. For example, we know from the Word of God that Satan is the father of all lies. Knowing that, when he comes to you and whispers in your ear, “You’re not worthy; You’ll never succeed in life; God doesn’t care about you;” you can say, “Those things aren’t true because they are coming from the father of all lies. In fact, if Satan is telling me those things, the exact opposite must be true: I am worthy! I will succeed in life! God does care about me!”
Conversely, you better be aware the devil is also studying you and watching your “game film.” He sees what play worked on you in the past, and he will run it over and over again in order to try and trip you up and stop your victory. If he knows you’re a worrier from observing your game film, he will give you lots of things to worry about until you take the bait. So, don’t fall for his tricks.
First Peter 5:8 says, “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up” (MES).
Just like in basketball, we must keep our guard up in our spiritual lives. We have to stay in the Word of God. We have to spend time in prayer. And, we need to take time each day to meditate on the scriptures that pertain to whatever battle we happen to be encountering at that particular time in our lives.
For example, if you’re in the middle of a financial crisis right now, you should be reading and confessing scriptures about your Heavenly Father being your provider. Say:
- “My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, according to Psalm 50:10, and He will provide for me!”
- “According to John 10:10, my God has come that I might have life and have it more abundantly.”
Furthermore, in order to defeat the enemy, we should put on the full armor of God every single day (Ephesians 6:10-18). Think of it as your mandatory uniform. Just like a basketball player needs his team uniform, his socks, and his basketball shoes, you need every single piece of the armor of God to be prepared for battle.
Here’s the best news. Though these basketball teams heading into the NCAA tourney have no idea if they will win that next game, we have a different situation. See, no matter how much they prepare and practice, somebody still has to lose. There can only be one national champion. But, as Christians, we are guaranteed a win in the game of life. First Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are victors!
Say “I am a victor through Christ Jesus!” right now, wherever you are, and say it throughout the day to remind yourself—and your enemy—that you’ve already won the battle. Now, that doesn’t mean our opponent is going to throw in the towel and give up. He will still try to aggravate us every chance he gets, but we still win! You’re a winner, so live with victory in your heart and mind today!We are victors in Christ! #faithlife #godisgood Click To Tweet