Well, it is January 4.  Three days ago, at halftime of the Rose Bowl, it looked like my beloved Sooners would be playing four days from now in the national championship game.  My how much changed in just a couple of hours!  Georgia played a near perfect second half of football, and earned their ticket back to Atlanta to play in Monday’s title tilt.  As an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma I was proud of our team, coaches, and school.  As I told my son after the game, “We are fortunate enough to be affiliated with just one of four schools that played a truly meaningful football game today.  We should never take participation in these types of games for granted.”  I meant that.

What is interesting to watch, however, is the reaction of fans (including myself) in the days following the game.  Many conversations have been held around water coolers this week second guessing play calls and game time decisions. 

“Why the squib kick?” 

“Why didn’t we throw a pass in the first overtime?”

“Why didn’t we run for the first down on third and two with just under a minute left?” 

These questions have been asked over and over.  And they have been asked with the kind of clarity only a “Monday Morning Quarterback” can have.  If the OU staff and players had known that the squib kick was going to hit a Georgia player, they would have certainly kicked it deep.  If they had known that we were not going to get the first down with a run, they would have passed it . . . and vice versa!  Seeing the reality of what actually happened, educates us on what SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE.  Of course, the coaching staff did not have the luxury of seeing the play’s results before they called them, so they had to simply make a call and hope for the best. 

I was thinking about this today as I prepare for my sermon on Sunday.  I was thinking about all the myriad of decisions you and I have to make this year.  We have to make a bunch of calls on a variety of issues . . . and we hope they are the right ones! 

Seeing the reality of what is actually happening around us educates us on what we SHOULD BE DOING this year.  Now, when I say this, I am not indicating that there is a crystal ball out there that will tell us the future on each and every issue.  What I am saying, though, is that the Bible tells us of a reality that most of us don’t see. 

What is that reality?  It is the reality of things that are happening in the spiritual realm.

The Apostle Paul goes so far as to say that in this life we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against a spiritual enemy and his demonic connections.  Satan wants nothing more than to destroy our relationships, minimize our faith in God, wound our physical and spiritual well-being, and tear apart the reputation of Christ-followers.  This is the enemy we face . . . and his influence impacts most of the areas of our life that we hold most dear.

So, as we start a new year together, we can begin with the clarity that only a “Monday Morning Christian” can have.  We know that there is an enemy that seeks to destroy and divide.  Knowing that, what play are you going to call?

Paul tells us what play we are to call.  We are to remember the armor God has offered us in Christ, and we are to pray – asking God to work on our behalf.  This is what we will be talking about this Sunday in our message, “Wrestling in Prayer” from Ephesians 6:10-20. 

Make plans to join us this week as we return to three Sunday services at 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00.  Also know that our children’s ministry, student ministry, and adult classes resume this Sunday.  Make plans to join us at Wildwood this weekend.

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