On April 3rd, the Dallas Mavericks played a game against the NY Knicks which started out being what Defensive Coordinator, Jamahl Mosley, classified as “a ratty game”. The Knicks plan was to slow the game down against the fast break Mavs and grind it out becoming a slow, methodical, physical, ugly, defensive basketball game. On the other hand, the Mavs had other ideas of speeding the game up forcing the Knicks to deal with their fast break not the NY ratty game. Dallas prevailed 99-86. The turning point was the Mavs willingness to play tough defensively which allowed turnovers facilitating fast breaks. This forced NY to play the Dallas game rather than the Knicks game.
Sometimes in life we find ourselves in a ratty game. You may not be getting along with your wife and kids with family life becoming a grind. No one seems to be on the same page. What if you are not even living in the same household with your wife and kids? What if you are in a tough, frustrating, unfulfilling work environment? There are hundreds of “what if’” situations that seem to be forcing you to play “a ratty game”. Change your perspective and move it from “a ratty game” and start playing your game as a Christ-follower.
The Bible says for you to “6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5:5-9). How do we change the game of life from playing the devil, the world, and the flesh game?
- Start by “humbling yourself” following the guidance of “the mighty hand of God.” “At the proper time he will exalt you” changing the game to “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guarding your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Then, Peter tells us to offload the anxieties in your current troubling situation “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
- Next, “Be alert and watchful. Your adversary (or opponent) the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” The opponent prowls around making loud attacking noises attempting to paralyze you to separate you from other Christians who encourage, pray, strengthen, and love you keeping you from playing a ratty game.
- Finally, “resist him, firm in your faith.” Remind your opponent that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). He is already whipped! Also, bring up James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Now, your opponent is on the retreat.
Why play “a ratty game” when there is power and wise coaching in the Word of God and the Spirit allowing you to play “abundantly” (John 10:10) and victoriously? Colossians 2:15 declares, “having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” You don’t have to play “a ratty game”. Jesus “triumphed over the devil and the world by the cross.” Rejoice in the victory!