Summary: Things Satan will throw at Christians to keep you from being your best...
Satan’s Obstruction of a Super Bowl Caliber Saint
Today is the day that sports fans in America look forward to more than any other day. It is Superbowl Sunday! Today’s game pits the New Orleans Saints against the Indianapolis Colts in the ultimate game in the National Football League.
This morning we have tried to bring out the similarities between sports and the Christian life, and there are many. You can’t read Paul’s letters and not see that he was a huge sports fan. I would like to share with you some more similarities today.
In most team sports, like football, you have the team owner who is over everything. Then you have the general manager who is in charge of signing the players and the coaches whose responsibility is to prepare these players for that week’s game.
Now as we get started I want you to know that Christians also have another name; SAINTS. So from now on when I say Saints I want you to understand who I am talking about.
In the life of a real saint we have:
• The owner, God.
• The general manager, Jesus the Christ, who writes each players name with His own precious blood onto the team roster.
• Then the coaches: pastor’s, youth pastors, music ministers, teachers, deacons, evangelist, Christian authors, etc.
• The players = the members.
In the life of a real saint there is a process of growth. We are born babies in the faith with the possibilities of unlimited growth. Some of you are the most mature people in the faith I have ever met.
However, some are also still babes in Christ, spiritual babes. We have not grown too much in our faith and therefore we are not meaning too much to the Kingdom of God.
Oscar Thompson wrote in his book Concentric Circles of Concern;
“Let’s say that the church is the divine hospital. The world is so very full of sickness. Many people come to the hospital for help, and every church that is doing what it needs to be doing realizes that we all continually need help. We come, over and again, for help, and we receive it. The only tragedy is that we do not mature and join the hospital staff and start meeting others peoples needs, we become a liability and the flow is always going inward. So we stagnate, and that hurts us. That hurts the Body of Christ.”
The writer of Hebrews wrote something very similar. He needed to tell them something important about Melchizedek but he couldn’t because they weren’t ready to receive it yet. He wrote:
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of God’s revelation. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14 - HCSB)
• What was the problem?
o Instead of being mature about things they were still acting as babies.
• Why was this a problem?
o Because they couldn’t focus on who the real enemy.
Please read with me in Ephesians 6:10-13…
We need to come to understand here today that our enemy is not a physical enemy.
We might not always see things exactly the same;
But you are NOT my enemy!
I am NOT your enemy!
Your brother or sister sitting here with you this morning is NOT your enemy!
The quicker we learn this the sooner we can move forward for the Kingdom.
Our battle is against powers and organizations that are spiritual. Our enemy is the unseen powers that control this dark world. We are up against the very forces of Hell itself.
The only reason that these forces are having any effect on us whatsoever is because WE ARE LETTING THEM! They were defeated over 2000 years ago with a wooden cross and an empty tomb yet we continue to let them hinder us by retarding our spiritual growth.
Today, as your coach, I want you to see where we need to work so that we can be all our Father, the owner of this team, wants us to be.
Here are four things that will stop you from being a Superbowl Caliber Saint if you let it:
A. Prayer is God’s most effective gift, given to us as a means of growth.
1. We are admonished to pray, almost more than anything else in the New Testament.
2. If you look at the life of Jesus you see that He set the example for us.