As a high school student, I played a lot, and I mean a lot, of soccer. Year-long seasons and tournaments, endless practices and sprints, countless thoughts about where to pass the ball next and how I could better serve the team. To say it was a big part of my life is an understatement. As I reflect back on my time on teams and in games, I think of all the times I was out of the game and wanted so badly to be put on the field. Why was I so desperate to play?
The answer is pretty simple: I wanted the team to win, and I thought my presence on the field would make a difference and would allow the team to win. I had scored goals before and was confident I could do it again. I was on the OFFENSE and that was my job: to score goals.
The offense was home to me, but as I have grown closer to Christ, I have been discouraged because a lot of times I feel like I am playing defense. As this journey has continued, I have no longer been looking to get closer to Christ. Instead I have just been trying to prevent evil in my life. I was playing defense when all I knew was offense.
“There’s some good in this world… and it’s worth fighting for” (quote from the video above). Fighting for something is in our blood.
In Matthew 16:18, we are told, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my CHURCH, and the GATES of hell SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT. The word CHURCH is highlighted for the simple reason that I forget all the time that the Church just isn’t the building. It is the people: we all are the church.
The second word that is highlighted is GATES. Gates are a defensive measure. Gates are always used to protect something and to keep others from getting it. How could gates ever prevail against the church if they are only used for defense?
This verse really stands out to me because it is calling all of the church to go and be on the offense, to take the fight to the gates of hell and punch sin in the face because it has no power over us, the CHURCH. If you are like me, tired of just trying to prevent sin by playing defense, I say we join the offense. Put me in Coach! We always remember game-winning drives and last second baskets. We love watching teams fight back to win at the last possible moment and epic fight scenes in movies where all seems lost and then the hero goes crazy to win the final battle. We are all heroes. We can win this battle.
Being proactive in our prayer life every day is an easy way to take the fight to the gates and beat them down. Christ has already won the war; it is our time to win the battles in His name. All glory be to God. Christ has put us in the game. Let us be on the OFFENSIVE.