Playing on the Defense

Defense-ChessI have always loved games – card games, video games, board games, mind games, strategic games, cooperative games and even sports – you name it, I probably enjoy it. I love strategizing, problem solving, thinking ahead, team work, competition, and of course the quality time spent with those you play with. There are so many different types of games on the market, that everyone can find one that they enjoy. My current personal favorite is Pandemic – a game where you work together with the other players to try to beat the game and save the world from four different diseases.

In all my game playing, there is one thing that stands out… in most game you can either play offensively or defensively; to defeat the opponent(s), or to protect your pieces. While there can be a time and a place for both strategies, if you strictly play defensively, chances are you aren’t going to win. Either your opponent(s) will defeat you, or the game will, unless you get lucky and the other player(s) set you up to win.

The point is, playing strictly defensively greatly decreases your chances of winning, or at the very least, leaves it up to luck.

Now the real point. While life is not a game of chance or luck, or really even a game at all, we all have an opponent – the devil. The devil is placing temptations in our life to try to lead us to lose the eternal life believers are promised in heaven. The problem is, we all too often play defensively against the devil instead of on the offense.

Living defensively is waiting to get sick, injured, or in need before praying to God. It’s waiting for the absolute perfect opportunity to invite your neighbor or friend to church – the opportunity that, let’s be honest, is never going to happen. Being defensive, is allowing our Bible to collect dust or allowing distractions and whatever else to get in the way of a relationship with God.

But living on the offense… that’s a beautiful thing.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that you when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13 NIV)” 

It’s putting on the protection God has given us and being prepared and ready for the attacks of the devil – not IF they happen, but WHEN. Living on the offense side means that we are in the Word, ingesting its truth and hearing about our righteousness given to us in Christ. We have the message of the Gospel in our hearts and we have the shield of faith in hand. Living on the offense is maintaining a relationship with God through prayer, Christian fellowship, Bible study and church so that when the devil attacks, we are not just ready to defend, but with the armor of God are ready to win because we know Jesus has already defeated sin, death, and the devil.

Living on the defensive may seem easy, but as soon as temptation arises… it gets a whole lot harder as we fumble with the armor and perhaps even need to find it. Living on the offense on the other hand, may seem difficult, but after habits are formed, makes trials and temptations easier to manage because living on the offense, means we are already wearing the armor.

It’s not too late to improve our offensive skills. It starts with utilizing the resources God has given us, and relying on him for the victory.

Written By: DCE, Lindsey Duerr