Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

Of Hockey Fights and Spiritual Warfare

I love a good hockey fight.  It’s the most testosterone packed 10 seconds around.

If you too are a fan of the fights, check out the website HockeyFights.  It’s an NHL player favorite, full of pre-fight info such as who is your opponent’s brawler, how much does he weigh, how many penalty minutes does he have, and most importantly – is he a righty or lefty…or BOTH!

As I read an article in Men’s Journal by Charles Coxe about fight strategies, I saw God, Satan, and our daily battles with our enemy.   Here it is from a hockey fight perspective.  Can you see any spiritual warfare parallels?

1. Study Hard – Scout your opponent

(Hockey players have hockeyfight.com.  We have the Word of God)

2. Don’t Back Down – The worst thing you can do is back down…chicken out.

(Hockey players fight for pride.  We fight to remain in the game so that we can advance the Kingdom)

3. Get a Handle – With about 10 seconds to throw punches before the ref steps in, many fighters launch haymakers off the opening bell.  But the winner is usually the one who shows restraint.  Get a good grip on your opponent’s jersey or arm. You then control his movement and power.

(Hockey players strategize, we are called to armor up every day)

4. Strike First – Once you have restrained him, hit first.  When you get stung, you think defense too much.

(Hockey players will get bloodied, so will us Christians.  Choose to go on the offensive instead of waiting)

5. Stay Balanced – If you have balance you control your enemy.

(Hockey players train their legs for max balance.  We must strike spiritual balances between spiritual disciplines to be effective)

6. Use Your Head – Sometimes you have to take a punch to give a punch.  The hardest part of your head is your forehead, so if you gotta take a hit, take it there.

(Sometimes the best strategy for both Hockey Players and us Christians is to DUCK!)

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My Church is Bigger Than Yours Jesus….

He gets it.

The following account is powerful.

Pastor Francis Chan challenged a room full of some of the most influential church leaders with a message that every lover of the local church should hear.

This past weekend I was rocked by something that Francis Chan said. He told a room of 1000 pastors and church leaders that much of our ministry might be powered by our own efforts and not the power of the Holy Spirit.

Francis said that he knew how to grow a church — he’s a pretty good speaker, he can lead a talented team of musicians, he knows how to incorporate video, lights, etc. But if Jesus was the pastor of a church in our town — would our church be bigger than Jesus’ church? Would we be able to draw a bigger crowd because we tell them what they WANT to hear and give them an experience that feels good?

That’s a head-rattling, heart-stopping thought. – Brian Mosley

My Prayers Suck….

Rote lazy prayers….

Hate them!

Guilty myself of offering up these half-hearted memorized, routine, babble to THE Creator of all things.

Words like “I praise you for who you are”?

What????

I can just sense God thinking “Who DOOOOOO you think I am?  What are you praising me for???

Luke warm prayers at best.

So because you are not one thing or the other, I will have no more to do with you. – Rev 3:16

Would you say that you have a fervent prayer life – one that is full of consistent passion and intentionality?

I don’t.

I desire that, from the deepest recesses of my heart I desire a fervent prayer life – ugh.

So this morning I’m asking myself a few questions:

1 – Where do I pray my best prayers?

2 – When am I at my best?

3 – When am the freshest?

My most fervent prayers seem to occur when I verbally recognize God and His amazing attributes.

It’s time that we stretch our vocabulary beyond the big 3 attributes of God that we almost exclusively focus upon in our private and public prayers – Loving, Holy, and Gracious.

Why do we limit him to such few when the Bible is stuffed full of 250 names and attributes of our God?

STTTRRREEETTTCCCHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!

Try this exercise right now.  I heard Bill Hybels preach on this prayer strategy and it is amazing!

Alphabet Attributes – pray out loud through the alphabet, coming up with a different attribute to correspond with each letter. But don’t just stop there, then tell Him how that attribute blesses your life. Like:

A” – All Knowing – Father you alone are are in control of my circumstances today.  Please help me rest today in your sovereign arms.  The moment that I begin to worry about finances today, will you gently remind me that you are the source of all wisdom and knowledge?

Do this through the alphabet.  Take 1 letter each morning and spend the day focusing on this truth.

Lord, I’m tired of lazy prayers…help me seek you with passion….

The One Thing…

Spiritual growth.  How do I achieve this?

We all want it, right?

So what is the one thing, the one practice that will accelerate growth more than any other discipline?

In Follow Me, the second book out of the Willow Creek Association and follow-up to their incredibly insightful REVEAL research confirmed that a Christ follower who consistently stated this experienced the growth that all of us Christians desire: “I reflect on the meaning of Scripture in my life.”

Reflection.

The word itself implies a thoughtful and intentional process.  When I read the Bible, I skim.  Rarely do I reflect. As Hawkins wrote in Follow Me, ” (Reflection) is thoughtful, personal meditation that catalyzes spiritual growth.

Are we aware that no matter where we are on our spiritual journey, nothing matters more to our growth – including church services, volunteering, small groups – than time spent in God’s Word? Nothing beats the Bible.”

Want to do your part in advancing the Kingdom today?  There is nothing more strategic or effective than grabbing a passage from the Bible and reflecting on it all day.