Consider the following – a sermon illustration on the struggle to keep up intensity in the face of complacency.
My indoor soccer team, or futsal team as it is actually called, played the first game of the tournament last night. My son Daniel is the star player and scores most of the goals for out team. When he isn’t scoring goals he’s defending them as one of the two goalies we have.
Last night we played the last place team because we won the regular seasons with only 1 loss and 1 tie to go along with 7 wins. We beat this team by an average of 4 or 5 goals during the regular seasons. It was hard to get my team fired up and intense. It was hard to get myself fired up and intense.
As we played, the first ten minutes of the 20 minute half resulted in a tie – zero to zero. The kids played without any intensity. I kept cheering them on with positive encouragement. There were flourishes of excitement, but they came few and far between.
It reminded me that it’s really hard to keep up an intensity about any cause when you’re comfortable.
As believers, we often struggle with this. Life is good. If you don’t have any health problems, money concerns, or fear about a lost job, then you just coast along enjoying life.
Yet, the enemy is still trying to defeat us. In our game, the other team was pushing hard. They hadn’t won a single game. They’d love to knock of the best team to advance to the championship game after losing every regular season game. They played hard and fought hard. They scored more goals last night than they did in any other game we played against them.
Fortunately, we still won. But we were luck to eek out that victory.
As believers, we have more to play for than a futsal championship. This is life and eternal life. We compete not against flesh and blood, but against spirits and powers beyond our strength. We must remain vigilant to remain faithful and keep up the intensity in our fight against evil!