Hebrews 10:19-39; Exodus 11:1-12:51; Proverbs 4
In football there is a tactic called the “Prevent Defense.” In this defense, played at the end of the game, defenders stop playing close and drop back. They’ll let short passed be completed while trying to prevent long, game breaking passes from being completed. The saying about the “Prevent Defense” is that the only thing it prevents is victory. It seems foolish to fans who have seen their team do well playing defense one way to suddenly change that way and give the other team a chance to score. God talks about a “Prevent Defense” for life in Hebrews. “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:39) How often does it happen that those of us who follow Christ are in sight of a victory and then we sit back and wait for it to happen? Worse, how often do we encounter opposition and instead of facing it with the power of God, shrink back because we think that dealing with it may be counterproductive? Jesus noted that the gates of hell would not prevail against faith like Peter’s. Our battle at the gates of hell is not defensive, hell is on the defensive. Gates are defensive weapons. We are called to storm the gates of hell with the good news of Jesus Christ; the gospel that promises reconciliation with God for all people. How easy it is to sit back in a defensive posture and hope that we don’t get attacked. When that happens we lose if we are attacked and we lose when we don’t share the love of Jesus. Our call is to advance with the message of Jesus Christ. We are to share His love each and every day. We are to let people know that they also can have their relationship with God restored because Jesus paid the penalty for our transgressions. The bugle of God does not sound retreat.
Lord, how often I shrink back out of fear that I will not be accepted by others. Rather than share the greatest news anyone could imagine, I step back, and wait, and stay silent. Give me the heart I need to share Your love at all times.