I once heard a basketball coach make a statement that might be good for some of the rest of us to remember. Specifically, he was talking about various strategies that might be employed against him and his team by their opponents.
In the process of discussing this, he said:
“You can’t trick us because we are not paying attention.”
As he went on, what he was talking about became apparent. His quote meant that he had convinced his players that his style of play would win against anybody. The players were then trained to concentrate on perfecting that style of play in each game. His thinking was that this single-minded, focused effort would overcome any obstacle.
How does this apply to the non-athlete? More importantly, how does it apply to a Christian? I’m thinking that Paul might give us some insight into this.
I am well aware of the fact that Paul had a concern “…that we would not be outwitted by Satan…” (2 Cor. 2:11, ESV). I am also aware that this same verse states that “…we are not ignorant of his designs/schemes/designs” (various translations).
I am also aware of the fact that the New Testament teaches us in many places to have a single-minded, focused determination to love and serve the Lord. One such example comes also from the pen of Paul: “…I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2. ESV).
Was Paul aware of what Satan tried to do to him and the cause of Christ? Indeed, he was.
Did Paul focus on what Satan was trying to do? Indeed, he did not.
The inspired penman of the book of Hebrews encourages his readers to…
…lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith… (Heb. 12:1-2, ESV).
That seems to me to be another way to say to anybody and anything that would hinder our commitment to Christ,
You can’t trick us because we are not paying attention.