This is a script of a spiritual pre-game show for the game that is not a game, …..Life. This was written for Super Bowl Sunday night and posted just as it was written for all of you who asked to see it. If you were there you will see that there was a little ad-lib going on.
The Game of the Season
TODD: Welcome to the pre-game events of the game of a lifetime! We are just minutes away from the kickoff of the last game of the season and what a long season it has been for these two teams!
RANDY: In a few moments we will witness the clashing of two eternal enemies as the Carnal Devils take on the Spirit-filled Saints! This is not the first time these rivals have met this season, far from it.
TODD: As you recall, the owner of the saints started off this season with a “bang” in a powerful display of creative power
RANDY: (He spoke and “bang” it was!)
TODD: Paving the way for His team to take the field. That first game of course was played in the famous Garden Arena where the Devils surprised us all when just minutes in to the game they forced a turnover, stripping the ball out of the hands of the Saints resulting in a resounding victory for the Devils, but not without a promise from the Saints’ owner of a future defeat, concerning which He was quoted as saying “I’m going to crush your head!”
RANDY: Later in the season the two met again in the ominous “Mile Low Stadium” where in spite of a lot of pre-game ruckus caused by the Devils and their owner, the Saints rode in on a tidal wave of righteous judgment drowning the Devils hopes of an undefeated season. There secret to victory, a glimpse of the promised secret weapon stored up in the heart of their Owner in the Ark of Salvation. With that flood of memories bearing down on the head of the Devils’ owner he set out with an even greater resolve to build a team whose soul purpose and goal would be to destroy the Saints.
TODD: Time and time again throughout the season the two teams faced off, trading apparent victories and losses; In the desert, on the mountain, at the Red Sea, The Jordan River, in Jerusalem, and ultimately at Calvary, what a battle there! Never before or since has there been such a brutal confrontation between these enemies than that one at Calvary just outside Jerusalem.
RANDY: You know they call that place “the place of the skull”. Talk about a skull crushing display of power! We saw it there. We were all there to see it. You know, that’s exactly where the helmets this Saints team wears tonight came from.
TODD: That’s right. The helmet of Salvation. And you can bet they’ll be putting it on before they ever step into this game today and when it’s all over with they’ll be glad they did! Well, as we have said, they have been facing off all season in all sorts of settings, but today the season will end with this, the final game, for the title, and the Crown!
Let’s introduce the players on these opposing teams for few minutes. On one side of the field is the Carnal Devils. When you take the field with these guys, you take the field with a team that really plays dirty! Their owner is the Flesh, they’re led by Lust, and they represent the world and its system. But Satan himself is the real power behind this team. Just take a look at their lineup and you’ll know what I mean.
TIGHT ENDS WITCHCRAFT and HERESY
TACKLES MURDER and DRUNKENESS
GUARDS STRIFE and ENVY
CENTER LASCIVIOUSNESS (lawlessness)
RUNNING BACKS ADULTERY, IDOLATRY, FORNICATION
RANDY: On the other side of this field is the Spirit-filled Saints! This team’s greatest strength is knowing how to play by the rules. Of course, you’re at a pretty good advantage when your owner wrote the rulebook! They are owned by Jesus Christ himself, led by the Spirit, and are represented by all the Host of Heaven. The secret to their success is the undefeatable Spirit they are possessed by. They will be led onto the field today by some of their best players:
TIGHT ENDS LOVE and HOPE
TACKLES LONGSUFFERING and TEMPERANCE
GUARDS GENTLENESS and GOODNESS
RUNNING BACKS JOY, PEACE, and FAITH
RANDY: Well Todd, can you tell me what you think we should expect to see out there today as these two teams takes the field?
TODD: Well you know there are a few aspects of the nature of both of these teams that seem to always show up on the field. The Devils for instance have a pretty well-known history of making tricky plays and have mastered the art of deceiving their opposers. We can expect to see this Devils team working hard to trick the saints into falling for some unexpected traps. They have mastered the art of distraction and if they can break the concentration of the Saints and cause them to lose their focus and take their eyes off of the Coach and the playbook then they’ll have the Saints right where they want them.
RANDY: You are so right! But on the other hand this Saints team is really good at recovering when they catch on to the Devils devices. Of course the secret to their ability to recover, lay in the power of their owner. They know that as long as they lean on His wisdom and guidance He will always see them through the toughest drives. Jesus is constantly training them to be effective defensively, I mean Rock solid, but His goal for them is that they work offensively on the field much more often than they do defensively and He has promised them that the Devils will not prevail against them.
TODD: While the special teams are getting ready for kickoff let’s talk about some of the pre-game drama. Everybody knows that a big part of the preparation for a game of this caliber is mental preparation. The Saints team has been led to prepare themselves by a consistent study of the playbook, I mean really going over it over and over until they are so saturated with the thinking of their coach and owner that the plays just become second nature to them. I mean every true saint knows that second nature is a whole lot different from that first nature, a whole lot better. As a matter of fact it will be virtually impossible for them to work together as a team without it.
RANDY: Yes, well not only have they been instructed to develop a consistent study of the playbook, but they have also been challenged to complete a rigorous process of self-examination to see if they truly have let go the old ways and been transformed by the Spirit that possesses the Saints to make them real team players, you know, the kind of players who do everything they do to the very best of their ability.
TODD: Not only that, but their ultimate goal is not personal fame or success, but they just honestly do everything for the benefit of the owner and their other team members. I mean, they really want to please Him more than they want to be some sort of hero because each true Saint already knows that they really didn’t have what it takes to be on this team but the coach and owner just took them like they were and made something out of them. So in a real sense these Saints are sort of playing from the heart, from a sense of gratitude because they know they owe everything to their owner and coach.
RANDY: Well, the mental preparation for the Devils has an altogether different focus. Rather than focus on the playbook and self-examination, they have chosen to focus not only on their own goodness and personal talent, but on their sheer hatred for the Saints. Just look at their quarterback. Hatred has done a great job of stirring up this Devils team. He has worked to really bring out their animosity, and just focus on that as their primary motivation. Each player on this Devils team is going to be working to show that he is the most effective at stopping the advancement of the Saints.
TODD: That’s not to say that this Devils team doesn’t work well together because they certainly do! They do it by compounding their individual strengths and focusing on the individual weaknesses of their opponents. You know the funny thing about it is how they sometimes work together to hide each other. One of them often brings on a full force obvious frontal attack while another may sneak in silently behind you and you never even realize he is there. As a matter of fact that seems to be how they work best against the most skilled Saints. Just sneaking up on them without them even realizing it and causing a major turnover that disrupts the Saints whole game plan.
For example, just look at Lust. He looks innocent enough and at first glance most of these Saints will think they can handle him without much problem. He just doesn’t look big enough to cause the kind of problems that he is capable of. But if you ever give him a toe-hold he will absolutely reak havoc, I mean he is deadly!
RANDY: Yes sir, James tells us that “Lust when it is conceived brings forth sin, and sin when it is finished brings forth death.”
TODD: And then there’s Adultery. He often works hand in hand with lust to trick the unsuspecting Saint who never thought he would fall for this old trick. But when the two of them Lust, and Adultery, sneak up on a Saint together there is always trouble.
RANDY: Yes but thankfully for the Saints Temperance and Love are on their side! There is no trick that Lust and Adultery could possibly pull that can’t be fully handled by Temperance and Love.
TODD: Temperance is that evidence of the Spirit in the Saints that is all about self-control, keeping the Saint in check. Even in the trickiest of situations Temperance does not give in! He expects those tricks before they ever come and he is perfectly capable of saying NO!
RANDY: Yes, and Love has brute strength on his side!
TODD: Love is so powerful that even when he is ganged up on he’s got what it takes to shake off his attackers! Don’t get in his way. He is patient, and kind, he’s not arrogant, or rude. He’s not jealous, or prideful. But don’t get the wrong impression. Love is not at all soft. As a matter of fact he is fearless. 1John 4 tells us that “perfect love casts out fear.” His strength is renewed day by day so he never runs out. He is one of the most important players on this Saints team.
RANDY: As for the Devils power houses, Envy and Idolatry have a pretty daunting reputation.
TODD: Man is that an understatement! Envy often teams up with some of the Devils’ second string personalities like Jealousy and Covetousness to blind the hearts of Saints to the more important aspects of the game. Then when he has weakened their focus and distracted them, he opens up a hole for Idolatry to run right through. If the Saints aren’t careful they will begin to value other things, sometimes even themselves, more than they value the team and, more importantly, their relationship with their Owner. Throughout the length of this season Idolatry has cost the Saints a number of significant losses.
RANDY: Two great opposers of Envy and Idolatry are the Saints players, Faith and
Joy. Let’s talk about how they use their abilities to strengthen the Saints.
TODD: Well, as you know, nobody pleases the Saints owner like faith does and Faith is always looking to his Owner!
RANDY: Yeah, Hebrews 11 tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” And “He that comes to God must first believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him”.
TODD: Faith has the ability to see more than just what is right in front of him and that makes a big difference when all you can see in front of you are some big bad ugly guys. But faith doesn’t live by sight, he lives by what he knows his Owner is capable of, so he is not limited by his own lack of ability or opportunity, and because of that he pulls off some pretty miraculous plays from time to time. And generally speaking, Joy is right there with him. Joy doesn’t worry too much about how things appear either. He trusts the direction of his coach and owner so much that he knows everything is gonna come out right in the end, so no matter what it looks like around him he’s always good to go! Every now and then he gets knocked down but he is quick to get back up and get dusted off. You won’t be keeping Joy out of the game for long!
RANDY: Man yeah! That’s a great encouragement to this whole Saints team too. Sometimes when things look the worst Faith and Joy work like cheerleaders to stir the team up again till they remember the words of their owner that we find in Hebrews chapter 4.
TODD: Oh yeah, I know just the passage you’re talking about where he says “while we look not at the things which we can see, but the things which we can’t see, for the things we can see are temporary, but the things we cant see are eternal!”
RANDY: Whew that’s good stuff! Well we know first hand how important it is to be reminded of that great Truth, especially when you’re sharing the field with powerful brutes like Murder and Heresy. It takes a lot of coaching and courage to stand up against those guys.
TODD: No kidding. I don’t really know of very many guys that look forward to hanging out with those two, that’s not exactly my pick for who I want to be staring nose to nose with when I’m down in the three-point stance! As a matter of fact, I’d want to go on and make it a four-point stance and stay on my knees and both elbows just a little bit longer!
RANDY: I imagine most of these Saints will be doing just that prior to this game anyway, and all the way through it for that matter. It will be obvious which ones did and which ones did not as we watch how strong they appear to be and how they hold up play to play.
TODD: I know you’re right. We’ve seen too many times what happens to these Saints when come out unprepared for battle. Sometimes a few wins under their belt leaves them feeling a little over-confident and they begin to forget what is the source of their real strength. Remember what happened at Ai, right after that massive victory at Jericho? The Saints were still riding high on that victory and they said “We got this, we can handle these guys.” They tried to go out too quickly, in their own strength, without so much as a huddle, and they got smacked! I mean blown away right there in front of God and everybody. Talk about embarrassing, but they learned a valuable lesson, went back to their owner, got in some practice, and valuable huddle time, came out with His plan and waxed them in the second half!
RANDY: You know what they say, practice makes perfect, so practice, practice, practice! You can never be too prepared, especially when you’re about to face off with an opponent as crafty as Heresy.
TODD: Yes sir, when you’re facing Heresy you best know the book and be practiced up and prayed up, because I’ll guarantee you He’s had plenty of practice. I mean every time you turn around you hear of some new way Heresy has twisted the rules of the playbook to come up with some different way of scoring. He is always looking for a back door to get in the sheepfold when the Master Official has already said there is only One way!
RANDY: Well you know the scariest part of Heresy’s tactics is how close his plays look and sound to the real thing. I mean he is so crafty that if it were possible, some of the very elect Saints would be tricked by him. But the real sadness is how many would be or wanna be saints are led down the wrong path while looking for the right thing, and even trying to do the right thing, yet because they will not look to Christ alone and believe, they never make the team.
TODD: You are so right. It’ll catch up with him one day and there’ll be hades to pay for it when the Righteous One judges him in the end. That’s one more reason why it is so important for the Saints to be in the book, and know those plays backwards and forwards so they can recognise Heresy’s lies and stand up to them, and instruct the rookies on what the truth is.
RANDY: Well we mentioned Murder a few minutes ago but we really haven’t said much about him. How will he affect this game for the Saints today?
TODD: Well that’s an interesting question. You know nobody wants to be associated with Murder, but that brings up something that we haven’t yet mentioned today that I’m not sure everyone is really aware of, and that is that every one of these players on the Saints team today was at one time a member of the Devil’s team.
RANDY: That’s right. Eph 2:1 says “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
TODD: That’s right, even as others. So every player on this Saints team realizes that not only do they not have what it takes to be on this team but they are here none the less because the Owner and Coach found them worthless but chose to put in them what it took to make them players, purchased them from the Devils team and has now made a team out of them for His own pleasure.
A few moments ago we mentioned Murder, and again nobody wants to be associated with Murder. Murder is such a strong name and when we think about him we automatically think about those big kinds of plays he makes, but sometimes we fail to realize that Jesus taught us that when we use words to destroy another person’s character we commit murder with our tongues. So sometimes when we rub shoulders with murder we would like to deny any association with his actions and ours but when we use our words improperly concerning others we are in the same call as Murder himself, and he likes the company!
You know I wish there were time before kickoff for us to go down the entire list of players and talk about their strengths and weaknesses but for the sake of time we’re gonna have to wind things up. You know that passage you mentioned earlier is such a great one and I’m glad it doesn’t stop where we left off! It goes on to say “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;”
And speaking of Grace, we have to take a minute to talk about him. Grace is that fantastic QB for the Saints. What a player! Grace, Grace, God’s Grace, Grace is great! Grace is what brings this whole team together and it is grace that has brought us safe this far. Grace is amazing and will most likely be this game’s MVP. We’ll be watching to see what Grace does in this final game to cause these Saints players to come out on top.
RANDY: Well, the Captains of each team are making their way to the center of the field now for the coin toss. The Devils make the call…….”Tails!”, because deep down inside, they know who the Head is! Tails it is, and the Devils will receive first.
TODD: In a few moments, as these teams take the field to start this final game and the Saints kick off to the Devils. You can bet this kick will be high and lifted up!
If the season starts at creation, runs the course of time, and includes already the victory at Calvary, then surely this final game will end when He returns and it will all be over. The fact is that this phase of the season is your life. It is the game that is no game. It is real, the players are real, and it will come to an end in His time. Take it seriously, be prepared, be in the book, and Cherish our owner. Give it everything you’ve got because the world is watching.