Summary: Jesus endured temptations, and so can we with His help.
All right, let me ask you a question. If the team that you’re rooting for-- if they knew the other team’s plays, in other words all this week they knew exactly what play the other team was going to run every time. It was all scripted out right there for you. Do you think that your team would have a chance to win if they went into the game knowing every play the other team was going to run? And what if it was only three plays? What if the other team only had three plays and you knew when they were going to run one of those three plays? Do you think your team, even the Jets and even Chicago, might have a chance to win? You know who I’m rooting for already, right? All right. I’m praying for a Green Bay-Pittsburgh Super Bowl, all right? So for the rest of you, I’m sorry. That’s who I’m praying for. All right. So if your team does know those three plays, chances are you would be well prepared to win the game.
In Scripture our enemy, the one who wants to steal, kill, and destroy from us really only has three plays in his playbook. And he has been running them perfectly, executing them very well now for thousands of years. And he’s not had to really add anything to his arsenal of plays because the three that I’m about to describe work so well.
Now one of my most prized possessions that I have in my office and I was showing it off this week is that I have a signed book, a signed copy of John Wooden’s last book before he passed away and it says, “To Brady from John Wooden.” And somebody knew that I was a big basketball fan and I’m an admirer of John Wooden. They got the book; they knew him and got the book signed for me. And I was showing people my John Wooden-signed autographed book this week. I was bragging on it.
But John Wooden and guys like John Wooden and Vince Lombardi if you know anything about sports, and I’m not trying to overwhelm you with sports analogies this morning, but these guys what made them brilliant coaches is not because they were extravagant in the way they coached. In fact, they were brilliant because they simplified the game of football and the game of basketball. John Wooden almost never looked at the opponent’s game film. He never scouted another team. He would just tell his team we’re going to do the fundamentals, everybody that played UCLA, and they won like nine national championships. But everybody that played UCLA knew exactly what they were going to do, but they couldn’t stop them because UCLA they fundamentally just did it better than everybody else. They rebounded, played defense, and shot the basketball better than everybody else. It didn’t matter what you did against them, they were successful.
Well I’m not comparing Vince Lombardi and John Wooden to a Satan. But our enemy only has three plays and we know what they are, yet we still find ourselves being overwhelmed by them. So let’s pick it up here. Let’s find out what these three things are.