Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Surviving today requires that believers develop a godly mentality, a strategic plan and an understanding of the spiritual tools given to us by the Holy Spirit. Survival requires dedication to press in to God and in following His lead. In part 3 of this

Playing Smart

Soul Survivor Part 3

Text: Job 1:6-8

This may come as a big surprise to most of you, but I’m not a real sports buff. I mean I can sort of follow the plays of several sports but am not a real enthusiast of any in particular – with, of course, the exception of - - football.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t really find my niche as an adolescent, maybe because my interests were more in the artistic fields, perhaps I was too busy following my life passion even as a teenager. Whatever the reason, physical sports were not on my radar growing up. I have, however, always been interested in strategic gaming.

Actually, strategy has to be part of any sport. I remember the basketball coach in High School, trying his best to infuse his passion for the game into a rather uncoordinated teen (me), always yelling up and down the court “play hard, but play smart!”. It was well beyond my days in high school until I fully understood what he was saying. Fortunate for me, I didn’t dismiss that phrase back then as some banter from a basketball fanatic, because that phrase has, in my adult years, and yes, in my ministry, had a profound impact on how I live life.

Today, I hope you will see me as your life coach, running with you down the court of your everyday life and while running, encouraging you to “Play Hard, but Play Smart!”

We talked briefly last week about the importance of knowing some things about this “game” we call Christianity.

Now let me quickly qualify – before offence sets in – I’m not being disrespectful of your Christian walk by calling it a game.

I’m fully aware that much of the time our life situations feel much more like battle then a game. I’m simply drawing a comparison as the Apostle Paul did.

In several texts Paul uses the Roman games as an example of the Christian’s struggle against trial and temptation. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

Look at the last two verses of 1 Corinthians 9,

26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Turn it around, Paul says “when I run, I plot my course and pace my stride. When I fight, I put thought into every punch”.

How do I apply this concept in my everyday life?

Know your opposition.

Any great team, business, litigator, competitor takes time to study their opponent. They will consider their:





I’m not one to give a lot of time or attention to our enemy, but there are some things you need to know about him.

1. He knows you – and has it in for you.

Prime example – interaction regarding Job

John 10:10

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Oswald Chambers said, "Satan does not tempt us to do wrong things, he tempts us in order to make us lose what God has placed within us... the possibility of being of value to God. Satan does not come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of shifting our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can reveal this as a temptation of the devil."

2. His main objective is to defame God and you are the means to that end.

“Job only serves You because of what he can get out of You.”

3. He is a cunning adversary.

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

4. BUT, he has not power or authority over the children of God, without God’s permission.

a. Satan had to get permission before he would attack Job.

b. Scripture tells us that God “raised up adversaries” against the kings – in order to turn their hearts to Him.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply keep our trust in God?

5. His assaults on your life have limitations.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the Lord.

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