I watched my team lose a football match recently to one of our arch rivals and felt it was simply because of a reckless challenge by one of our most hardworking players in the team. It broke me so much that I honestly wished there could be no Red Cards in the game of football, then quickly realized what would happen if there was no Red Card in the game; there would be more dangerous tackles, more reckless challenges, more lawless acts like a footballer holding the ball and running to the opponent half to go and score and so many more you can imagine. The Red Cards are there to be enforced by referees when someone violates ‘rules’ of the game.
This thought inspired me so much and I started to think of the rules of the game of life, asked myself if there are Red Cards as well, could someone be Red Carded from playing in the game of life, some of us play the game of life spiritually not just naturally. Can one’s actions cause the team to lose to the enemy? Wouldn’t it be nice if the team members who aren’t hard working are Red Carded (don’t tell anyone I said that…lol)? What if the ‘Referee’ of this Game of life is in our side? Is the Umpire of the game of Life truly partial as some of our colleagues that preach hyper grace have implied? Etc. I had a list of questions in my mind begging for answers on the subject of Red Cards in my spiritual walk with God, hence I have decided to Inspire you all today with these answers.
The game of Football also have Yellow Cards for certain offenses that may be committed by the payers, hence many believers categorizes most of the rules in the Christian race as yellow card offense not red cards. I have often compared Christian walk with human relationships; those we love emotionally. There are rules in marriages and courtships, I guarantee you that most people have Yellow card offenses and Red card offenses in these relationships as well, just as God has His rules also. Once someone commits a red card offense and gets yellow carded, then we feel the umpire hasn’t been strong enough and the offender may just do the same again. I will share the offenses I consider yellow card offenses later in the second article next week.
The Bible gives us a peep into the mind of God as the Umpire, Referee and The Creator of the game of life, hence he has the Red Card in His Hands today. Some might think Red Cards will only be given at the end of Life and beginning of eternity, that is not true, because that is at the end of the season when we shall know the teams that will be relegated and those that will be crowned champions in the game of Life. The devil was Red Carded from the heavens and cast down to earth when he was found guilty of reckless challenge. Paul told the Roman church about the danger of playing the Christian game with ‘pride’, because it might earn some people Red Cards. James told us that God is not a ‘partial’ referee as some might want him to be when he said the wisdom from above is not partial in dispensing judgments. I shall attempt to share my thoughts with the rules of the game of life so that we can understand what might earn believers Red Cards.
5 RULES TO OBEY IN CHRISTIAN WALK
- Playing with Pride: This is the prince of all rules. The Lord and Referee of the game of Life can’t stand the proud and this is what Paul calls the ‘condemnation’ of the devil’ (1 Tim. 3 v 6). Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the
condemnation of the devil. The many believers that hold unto the fact that grace covers all sins do not understand the rules of the game at all, James points to humility as the prince of virtues and pride as the ultimate vice in the sight of God, ‘God gives more grace to the humble and resists the proud’ (James 4 v 6). The Proud will be Red Carded by God as referee and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Paul says we should not ‘think more highly than we ought to think’(Rom 12 v 3)
- Coaches and Captains aren’t above Rules: There are people who believe that God has two sets of rules for pastors and apostles. Men of God have assumed the role of ‘above’ the law and become very openly reckless in the way they play the game of Life. I am inspired from the game of football and also comforted by the Bible about the fairness of God as an impartial judge. I have seen coaches given red cards and captains of the team walked out of the pitches. Men of God can be termed our ‘coaches’ who train us, teach us, help us, and guide us through the game but to think they are immune will be deceitful and means we don’t know our Referee is impartial and ‘no respecter’ of persons. (James 3 v 14)
- Playing without Love: This is the most amazing rule of the game and many people may contend the Red Card effect of this law, some may even think those who play without Love should be given Yellow Cards not Red Cards, but I strongly differ in opinion because of the nature of our faith. Paul the apostle told the church in Corinth that anything done without Love is vain and may get one out of the game, 1 Cor. 13 v 1-5. The Love here is meant to be with your neighbours and which actually means agape love, so many of us are biting and devouring one another in the church and think we shall get away with it. Paul told the Galatians to stop that when he said, ‘But if ye bite and devour
one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another’. (Gal 5 v 15) Christians that are racists are playing without love, believers that are tribalistic are also guilty of violating this rule.
- Playing with the Enemy: The enemy isn’t just the devil but also the Flesh and the World. Many Christians are supposed to be playing the Christian game of life but sensually pleasing the flesh and massaging the flesh in the game. You have to be brutal with the enemy and ensure it doesn’t win the game, Paul so succinctly puts the enemy in his place in this game when he said to the Galatians church, ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not
fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Gal 5 v 16-17). I want you to note the words, ‘contrary to one another’, it simply means not compatible with one another. You can’t be in the flesh and the spirit at the same time. Selah. The flesh is the number one enemy of Christians, the devil works through the flesh more.
- Playing with Disrespect for the Referee: You can’t play and abuse the referee verbally or otherwise, and expect not to be handed the red card during the game. Our umpire and referee in this game of life as stated earlier is God and as Christians we should not expect to be handed yellow cards when we disrespect Him and the work He did on the cross through this hyper grace phenomenon. They forget that grace reigns through righteousness (Romans 5:21) and that is does not abound that we may continue in sin (Romans 6:1). Playing this game of life with disrespect to God our referee is saying that there is no justification for issuing red card.
I hope you have been inspired today by the five rules pointed out to obey in our Christian walk.