The Game Plan
“…we speak God's hidden wisdom in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age knew it, for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:7-8
Last week’s NCAA National Championship game between Duke and Butler was a classic and will be remembered for years to come. Regardless of who won (Duke, for anyone who missed it), the match displayed two well-coached teams, two well-devised game plans, and a match that was not decided until AFTER the final second ticked off the clock. Both coaches did their homework. They scouted their opponents and gleaned through every bit of information and video footage they could get their hands on. The players were well-informed, and everyone went forth with confidence that their plan would succeed.
The game, though not perfect, was filled with passion, desire, and determination. Both coaches could say afterward that sometimes their game-plan worked perfectly. An in-bounds play would result in a basket, or a defensive switch would work just as planned. But at other times, the ball just wouldn’t bounce right. The defense got a hand on a pass, or someone simply missed an assignment.
Any experienced coach knows that this is the point where we go “off-book.” Things get messy, and we learn to adjust and adapt, vary and modify. We keep the big picture in mind and alter the plan. In Luke 24, the resurrected Jesus meets Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus. Scripture says that the men’s eyes were restrained from recognizing Jesus. He asked them what they were talking about, and incredulously, they were talking about His crucifixion and the disappearance of His body. Jesus then shares with them all of the Scriptures concerning Himself. Basically, He presented the game plan—God’s big picture and the role Jesus had to play in order to fulfill that plan. Later, as they rest, the two men realize they are talking to Jesus Himself.
Do you realize that God has a master plan? It began before there was time. Before the beginning, God was. The angels served Him, but one of them (Satan) became prideful and broke from the plan by trying to place himself on equal footing with God. He was therefore cast out and, eventually, roamed the earth, seeking to destroy and deceive God’s children. Adam and Eve’s run-in with him appeared to mess up God’s plan. But, God had the final say. His plan was enacted and fulfilled through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we, His people, have been rescued by Him.
Jesus wins! Love wins! But the clock of time is still ticking. Unlike the college basketball championship, however, the outcome of the biggest “game” has already been decided. Jesus arose as proof that the game was won. Yes, we have an adversary that wants to keep us from living in that truth. He has a plan, as well, and is launching counter-attacks against us all the time. And we can live as if we are defeated, or we can claim the victory in Christ and rise up to living in victory with Him!
1. Think back on times in which you or your coach drew up game plans for your matches. Were you able to execute the plans? Why or why not?
2. In the spiritual life, how does the enemy seek to thwart God's plan for our lives? How have you been deceived by him in the past?
3. Are you a part of God's plan? If not, are you willing to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord?
2 Peter 3:10-13