Home > Uncategorized > Taking the Land, Carrying the Ball 4-24-14

In her book, “The Happy Intercessor,” author Ben iJohnson uses a football analogy of being either the defensive team, or offensive team, as the game is played out.  She writes, “The offensive team, however, has the advantage in that they have the ball.  With their skill and different plays, they proceed to carry to football down the field to make a touchdown.  The offensive team calls the plays, for they have the ball…it is extremely important to understand that God has already given us the ball.  We are the offensive team.  If you don’t understand that, if you are not praying from a place of victory, then…you will be one who is always trying to protect what God has given you from the devil’s plans…if you do not understand that God has already given you the ball, you will live in fear and pray from a place of lack…as the offensive team, our job is to take the land and not to run around after the enemy trying to steal the ball away from him.  The devil lost the ball at Calvary…your job is to find out what God wants to do…then you begin to pray what God wants…”*

I like this analogy.  I like the clarity with which she points out that we – the offensive team, those who represent the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth – always have the ball.

That is a truth worth repeating:  we who possess His indwelling Spirit and Presence, we who are the temple of the Holy Spirit – we always have the ball.  Moreover, the devil has no chance of ever gaining it back.  Why?  Because God owns the ball!

Paul admonishes the saints at Ephesus (and us) to “put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11, NASB)  Paul did not teach that they needed to stand firm against “the onslaught of the devil.”  He didn’t write, “the mighty power and force of the devil.”  Nor did he infer that we needed to guard against “legions of evil hosts.”
It’s a pretty simple strategy…schemes…such as presenting circumstances to represent a situation that doesn’t exist…providing opportunity for our hearts or minds to stray into spiritual wastelands…to become steeped in various religious philosophies  so that any breath of God is unrecognizable…these are all simply “schemes” to keep us either sitting on the ball, refusing to pass or run the ball, or to cut the ball open and spend a lifetime examining its aerodynamics.

However, Johnson’s advice “to pray what God wants” was modeled by Jesus, who said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19, NASB)

Christ in us, the hope of glory.  Not only hope for  the afterlife, when these tents we now possess wear out….but the hope of glory – His glory, not ours – pouring out in a rich, radiant, transforming light for as long as we dwell on this earth.  Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world.” (John 8:12, NASB)  Jesus also stated, “You are the light of the world…”  (Matt. 5:14, NASB)

The Message translation of 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 reads:  “The world is unprincipled.  It’s dog-eat-dog out there!  The world doesn’t fight fair.  But we don’t live or fight our battles that way – never have and never will.  The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture.  We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.  Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.”

Seek.  Listen.  Pray.  And don’t lose sight of carrying the ball.