The Michigan State Spartans is going to the final four!!!. Many of you know I am a Michigan State fan, since Tom Izzo, like me, is a native UPer (native to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan). State was not expected to get this far in the tournament, especially after the Wisconsin loss. Izzo said the Louiville win was one of his most satisfying victories. After the game, I was quite emotional. I wondered way. I went for a pray walk. This is what I sensed the Lord telling me to say. You be the judge regarding my discernment.
Could the Spartan victory be a spiritual metaphor for the readers of this blog. March Madness is a yearly sports event the captures the male imagination. Not only do we enjoy watching the furious competition, but we love to predict who will be winners. Based on strengths, weaknesses, and sheer hunches men fill out their brackets. I believe God is calling men to harness their competitive nature into the great spiritual battle that is being waged in our nation. God wants to capture the imagination of “tough and tender” warriors to become involved. Where are the strong, courageous, loving men? “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it will certainly come and will not delay” (Hab 2 2-3). Here is an application of the metaphor
“How much do you want it?’ The teams that win, “let’s it all out on the floor.” There is no second chance. Teams work through the adversity. Men get caught up in the intensity of the games. But what about spiritual adversity? This is not a time to pamper male egos with a “soft message” of enculturation to a society becoming ever hostile to the message of Jesus. How many men have fallen asleep? God is calling out committed men to band together in small ‘”teams” to make a difference right where they live. Ordinary men concerned for their families and communities. My advise: find or form your team. But be warned, there will be adversity. The days ahead will not be for the men who “sits on the bench.” Jesus warned, “Because of the increase of wickedness the love of most will grow cold” (Matt 24:12). But victory is ahead. He promised, ” Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life” Luke 21: 18-19).
How about coach Izzo? After the loss to Wisconsin, he had this to say to his critics. “I’m going to coach my team for now – not for the media, not for recruiting. I’m going to coach it for what’s right and what’s wrong.” I admire coach Izzo. He know how to motivate his team. He connects with his players. He get the best out of them at the right time (March madness). Men, Jesus know what time it is and how get the best out of us. He will see us through as we follow his lead. We are to give our very hearts to him. Are you willing to trust Jesus with you life or are you asleep at the end of the bench? Jesus warned us: “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (Mark 13:7). “Everyone will hate you because of me,” Jesus tells us, “but the one who stand firm to the end will be saved” (Mk 13:13).