It is football season to the delight of many. Football talk abound these days about team prospects, particularly for our local high schools and favorite colleges. It makes for lively conversation to discus the philosophies for offensive and defensive plays.
But, here is what I think—-to me, the offensive line is the most important aspect for successful team play. It is those valuable grunts who get the least amount of recognition, too. Some say defensive is the most important part of the team. Others insist that it is speed.
But, there is no other part of football more inspiring that watching a good offensive line hold their blocks for backs to scat, and protecting quarterbacks from sacks. Winning football teams capitalize from those offensive linemen that hold their blocks!
This same perspective is very applicable for our churches and the advance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In God’s Word, for example, there are many accounts of people, who like good offensive linemen, held their block for victory. We read of Jonathan, who, in one way of looking at it, held his block long enough for his good friend, David, to escape with his life from King Saul.
Moses initiated a tremendous block and held it long enough for that fleeing group of Israelites to cross on dry ground through the Red Sea to escape the Egyptians. The three Hebrew children held their block long enough in the fiery furnace to convince Nebuchadnezzar that the God of Israel is the One and Only True God.
But, the greatest block of all for victory came when Jesus Christ died, arms outstretched and affixed, on the Cross of Calvary. His bloody block came with personal, all-out effort, and successfully enables each of us to run to God for salvation victory. It was a bold, hard block that effectively enables people of faith in God through Christ from being tackled and tripped up by death and hell. Furthermore, He sustains a continuous block that keeps Satan’s hands off of those who choose to be on the winning side of Jesus Christ. His redemptive block opens the way for any and all to tally a Heavenly score and victory with God.
I tell you with great passion of soul—-Jesus Christ is to be praised for the eternal block He has made and continues to hold for our victory!
But, by contrast, born-again Christians have the spiritual responsibility to make and hold our blocks, too. How is this accomplished?
First, we hold our blocks for victory in Christ by upholding the principles of His Word. The moral turpitude festering in our nation today is in part due to the failure of those associated with the Church to be true to God’s Word. Liberal perspectives have imposed on the tenets of the Bible what they think God has meant. What this has done is to lead people away from insisting “Thus saith the Lord, “ particularly within the context of God’s moral guidelines.
God makes it Biblically clear that practices of adultery and sodomy, greed and theft, strife and drunkenness go again the grains of His expressed will. As God’s redeemed people, we of the Church need to hold our Biblical blocks for the sake of society at large.
Second, hold your block for victory for Christ by being a person of prayer. Intercessory prayer is an effective spiritual block. When we pray on behalf of others and circumstances, we provide a block for those who need particular protection. Prayer effectively blocks out evil interference and holding.
Third, hold your block by being faithful to worship. Worship at the appointed times of your church must be emphasized, not because us preachers say so, but because God says so. “My habitation you shall seek, and there you shall go.” Worship teaches us how to block for victory. Worship inspires us to block for victory. Otherwise, we cannot hold our block very well or very long.
Hold your block for victory. Indeed, blockers do not receive much recognition now. But, some day, the Lord will recognize you for the great blocks you made, for sure.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.