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Protecting the blind side

Ephesians 6: 10-13

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (NKJV)

Joshua 23:3

“The LORD your God has fought for you against your enemies.” (NLT)

This past weekend for a lot of people was a national holiday. For millions of Americans, we celebrated the kickoff of football season! The gridiron…the fans…the hits…the rivalries…and the dreams of a football championship all began on Saturday!

Ahhh….how wonderful it was to celebrate the first kickoff of the season. It was incredible, and the best thing about it is for the next few months of Saturdays and Sundays there will be all the football I could ever watch. All. Day. Long (Sorry for the one reading who doesn’t like football.)

There is a position in football that many people don’t consider important. In today’s game, the quarterback, running back, wide receiver and linebacker are considered the “elite” positions, mainly because their big plays score points for the their team. But the truth is, none of the aforementioned positions score without the offensive line.

In the game, the quarterback is the most vulnerable man on the field. While he can run and throw, the quarterback is not typically known for the hits that he makes on the field. He has limited vision. He can’t look behind. He has to look forward so the ball can be passed down field, and often times it is his left side that is completely left open. He is not known for defending himself. He is defended. The goal of the offensive line is to protect the quarterback. The offensive line is a group of big, strong, physical men who stand in the gap and block defensive players from destroying beloved quarterbacks and running backs.

One notable position on the line is the offensive tackle, typically the left tackle, who protects the blindside of the quarterback. This position garnered quite a lot of attention thanks to Michael Oher and the movie about his story, “The Blindside.” The offensive tackle is responsible for keeping blitzing linebackers, defensive ends, and sneaky defensive backs from trying to take down the quarterback.

In professional sports, it is often the offensive tackle who is the second highest paid man on the roster. His job is vital to the success of a team. Just ask all of the Florida State Seminole fans how important this position is after watching their star quarterback critically injured by an Alabama defensive player who tackled him from behind. His blindside wasn’t protected!

This position makes such a great parallel to what God does for us in the heat of our spiritual battles that we face every single day. Like the quarterback, we are in a pretty vulnerable position in life. You and I have a real enemy, the devil, who is headhunting you. He is seeking to kill, steal, and destroy you (John 10:10). He has declared an all out war against you, and he has an arsenal of tactics, weapons, ploys, and attacks to bring you down and out of the fight. They come by way of temptation and sin.

Do you realize today that God has given you everything you need to defend and fight against your enemy so that you can have the victory? He has blessed us with spiritual armor. Armor that declares our victory through truth, righteousness, the Gospel, salvation, faith, and the Word of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)!

Paul wrote in Ephesians 6 that while we are engaged in a fierce and mighty war against a very powerful enemy, we are enabled for victory through our Savior Jesus Christ who loved us so much that He would die on the cross for our sins, and be raised to life so that we would have eternal life, but also abundant life here on earth.

Jesus has already won the greatest battle against death, hell, and the devil when He gave His life for ours (1 Corinthians 15:57). He is our strength, our hope, and might in the midst of the battles that we face every single day mentally, emotionally, relationally, and most of all spiritually.

Jesus is standing in the gaps defending our very souls with His power and might. He protects our spiritual “blind side.” If you are struggling in life today with temptation and sin, know that you can find power and protection through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I plead with you today to surrender your life for Christ. You cannot win the spiritual wars without Him. You cannot have eternal life without Him (John 14:6).

There are far too many casualties in the spiritual realm because people fail to stand in Jesus’ strength and power and put on the whole armor of God. It’s time that you have victory. Declare it through Jesus Christ.

If I can minister to you in any way, please let me know. I’d be honored to join you in the battle by praying for you. God bless you.

Rev. Peter Mcdonald, Midway Baptist Church