It's Not a Game!

Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

The other night our Sunday School class gathered together and played board games. There were games that were very fast and some that were more methodical. One of the games involved trying to guess what the other players were thinking. It was really a great time of getting to know one another in an informal setting. No one took it too seriously, telling stories and teasing one another as the games progressed. Sometimes a player would become distracted by the conversation and make a mistake that could cost them points or even cause them to lose a turn! The more intent players could take advantage of the distraction and make moves or play cards that would change the game. Thankfully, I never saw anyone get overly upset when they lost. As I considered it later, it reminded me of how many times we become distracted in life and miss opportunities or make mistakes. The glaring difference is that our life is not just a game and we must take it seriously.

1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

A skilled competitor will constantly evaluate the possible tactics of his opponents. He will consider his own vulnerabilities and take steps to avoid losses. In our lives we need to have a strategic mindset. Our opponent is not just trying to get an edge or win a few points against us. He is actively looking for an opportunity to destroy us! Peter, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us to watch out. The devil wants to eat us up. A Christian is often distracted like the person playing a game and not taking it seriously. We are lulled into complacency in our walk with the Lord because we don’t realize what is at stake. Those times we skip reading God’s Word, miss a service for no good reason, ignore warnings from our pastor, let our standards slip because no one else will know or forget to pray before making a decision are all times when we let down our guard. These little slips are all the devil needs to pounce! Our pride causes us to assume we are just fine and we don’t need to be diligent in spiritual things, but in I Peter 5 we are reminded to walk in humility, submitting to others, and be vigilant.
Lord, help us to remain humble and be serious about our walk with You. Laziness and apathy are our tendency. Please help us to avoid the traps the devil sets for us. Thank You for loving and protecting us as the Good Shepherd. We know You have saved us from destruction many times.