Good chess players not only anticipate their opponent’s next move but their opponent’s next several moves. A good player knows a fairly innocuous looking move might not appear dangerous in the immediate future but could be the key to victory as it sets the stage for a later devastating attack. A game can be lost several moves back, but the loser did not know it then. He did not know where he was led until it was too late.

In 1 Peter 5:8 we read, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Peter did not know about chess but he surely knew about lions. If he had known about chess he might have written, “Your enemy the devil schemes like a grand master seeking to devour you.” He is patient. He has a lifetime to get us. He can plant a seed now and water it knowing the ultimate fruit of an idea or action.

Psalms 1:1 tells us to be careful where we walk, where we stand and where we sit down for this is the progression of disaster. The walking seems so innocent. The standing is just satisfying curiosity. The sitting is the fruit. We need to be so careful because the grand master of evil is playing for our souls. How reassuring to know the true champion Jesus Christ is playing on our side. As Paul says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

Written March 4, 2003