"Then Jesus told him, 'Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.' Then the Devil left Him, and immediately angels came and began to serve Him."
In sports, rivalries are huge. And there is no bigger venue than college basketball. North Carolina vs. Duke, Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State, Kansas vs. Missouri, and my favorite rivalry, Indiana vs. Purdue. They have had some battles over the years when Gene Keady used to face Bobby Knight. Remember the chair-throwing game in the early 80's? And even without Knight, the rivalry continues. Who could forget the exciting double-overtime victory for the Hoosiers this year? This year is different for the rivalry, though. Coach Gene Keady walked into Assembly Hall for the last time as a coach this week. Often, rivalries produce ill will and bad feelings, but nevertheless, Keady was greeted with great applause and appreciation before the game. Once the ball went into play, however, the bitter rivalry resumed.
Jesus faced rivals during His life, too. Many people opposed His ministry, but there was no greater rival than Satan himself. At the start of His ministry, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by Satan, but in this contest there was no contest. Jesus consistently and continually refuted Satan with scripture and finally told Him basically to take a hike because He was going to worship the Lord His God. Satan thought Jesus was going to be an easy victory, but his ways did not work on Him. But throughout Christ's time on earth, he kept trying, and he keeps trying today. He attacks people, ministries and churches to try to separate us from the victory we have in Christ. Since Satan is winless against Christ, his rivalry invades His follower's lives where he tries to take us away from our Father's love.
Purdue and IU will continue to be rivals on the courts until the end of time. Likewise, we need to keep battling our rival, Satan, until God calls us Home. Remember, in college basketball both teams will win games now and then, but when we compete against Satan with Christ's power, we can win every time. Do not go into a battle against him without that power! If you do, you are guaranteed a loss. We can learn a lesson from American Express … When we go to battle against Satan, don't leave home without Him (Jesus Christ).
1. Who is your athletic rival?
2. Do you realize that you have a rivalry with Satan?
3. Today, how can you allow Christ to battle against the rivals of evil that wage war against you?
John 12:31, 16:11
1 Corinthians 15:57
2 Corinthians 2:14