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  • Writer's pictureitallstartsintheho

Red Card

I love watching my kiddos play sports or be involved in competitive activities. I appreciate their grit and perseverance in pursuing their goal. It's not always about the end goal of winning but more the process towards the goal. A lot of trial and error. Mental and physical awareness and toughness.

Right now, it's soccer season, so I have the privilege of watching my daughter play varsity soccer for her school. Some of the teams are stronger than others. The players are fierce and aggressive. More than a parent desires when the aggression is towards your child. It doesn't feel good the other way around, either. I cringe when my daughter pursues the ball, and an opponent comes after her; nine out of ten times, the opponent ends up on the ground, and I feel pretty awful.

After each event, we ask our children what their "glow and grow" was from the competition. In one particularly challenging game earlier in the season, my daughter played like a beast against a very solid team. I questioned my daughter what her "glow and grow" was, and without missing a beat, she responded with her glow first and said it was the red card she almost received from the referee. So then I inquired what mentality constitutes that kind of play versus when she's not as adversarial. She commented it depends on the opposing team. If they have a reputation of playing unfairly or are malicious, she goes for it, not allowing anything to hold her back.

This conversation made me ponder the game we play in life. More specifically, our spiritual life. We fight against an adversarial opponent - called the devil every day—one who plays unfairly and is malicious. "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." ~ I Peter 5:8 NIV

We have to take more of an offensive position than defensive in our spiritual adventures like we do in our everyday lives.

Some simple examples: You take additional vitamins, like vitamin C, zinc, and elderberry, to strengthen your immune system before flu season starts. What about deodorant? How many of you swipe under the pits to prevent body odor? If you don't, maybe you should. ☺ Eye cream. I lather the cream under my eyes every night to block any extra wrinkles. It is mandatory to gear up before a game with the appropriate equipment to protect oneself in sports. If we are proactive with these simple tasks, how much more vehement should we be in our spiritual lives?

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." ~Ephesians 6:11 NIV

We are in a war right now with a real devil. We cannot take it lightly. With what's going on in the world, our nation, our communities, and our families, we are being attacked on all sides. Don't get me wrong, I know we are already victorious and have nothing to fear, but that doesn't mean putting down your weapon. Armor up! Pray! Soak in His presence! Meditate on the Word of God! Claim His promises! Live on the offense and wait for your "red card!"

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