Full Court Press6:44 AM
It's March Madness! Of course, I'm gonna be using basketball metaphors. Actually... while I like basketball, I don't watch much TV at all! So my exposure to the craziness of college basketball tournaments is limited to 30 minutes of ESPN when I'm at the gym... or obsessive checking of the scores of the PSU vs. George Mason game in the NIT tourney. Which Penn State won. HAHA to all my George Mason friends. :) Kidding!! I know--it's not much to brag about. :)
I still remember one day when my dad explained what a full court press is and how it works in a basketball game. I love the intensity of close games (true confession: that's when I actually start paying attention!). The quick changes in possession. The scoring frenzy. The inevitable fouls and flaring tempers. Those last few minutes of the game is when the rubber meets the road. If people were lackadaisical before... no more! Time is short! Stakes are high! It's time to make your move!
The literal definition of a full court press is "a tactic of harassing, close-guarding defense in which the team without the ball pressures the opponent man-to-man the entire length of the court in order to disrupt dribbling or passing and force a turnover." I know... pretty cool, eh?
The more figurative definition is "a vigorous attack or offensive; strong pressure."
Yeah, basketball got me thinkin' about spiritual things. About how we live in this life. How sometimes it seems like we've got all the time in the world. And we live that way---living for today, tomorrow and the next day. We have lulled into a spiritual sleep. "So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober!" (1 Thess. 5:6)
This is no time for sleeping! Why? Because we are living in the last days! "The end of all things is near..." Instead of sleeping, we must recognize the perilous times we live in, and "...be of sound judgment and sober spirit, for the purpose of prayer." 1 Peter 4:7
We have an enemy who is great at deception, distraction, and finally, destruction. He never ceases to "... prowl around like a roaring like, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) This is why it is absolutely necessary to remain sober and alert!
Saints, this is the time to FIGHT! Be fervent. Be zealous! Prepare for action! Get into the heat of the battle, because the stakes are high and the time is short!
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:13
Even in the midst of the battle--and this is where I divert from the basketball metaphors--we can't be focused on our enemy. We must look to Jesus-the author and finisher of our faith! It's all about Him, anyway!
So I ask you... Where's your full court press? Are you prepared for action? Pressing in to prayer? Aware of the devil's schemes? Fixing your hope on Jesus and His SOON return? Are you living like the game has just begun? Or like the end is drawing near? Are you fighting with your whole passion/strength/energy?
"Fight the good fight of faith..." 1 Timothy 6:12