Published 10:04 am Sunday, February 14, 2021

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Last Sunday most people watched a football game with some commercials. I watched commercials with some football. If you are a Tom Brady fan then you got to see an older player perform exceptionally well on the field. If you are not, then it was a long game for you.

The commercials did not disappoint. Dolly Parton turned her 9-5 song into a 5-9 song for one. It was good to see Tracy Morgan doing commercials. Bruce Springsteen’s promotion about the chapel in the center of our country really grabbed me. There were plenty of stars, and it’s always fun to see who might be in the ads.

I really enjoy much of what takes place before the game. The pageantry and the patriotic nature of the videos and songs can stir your spirit. This year there was an emphasis on unity and the power a good competitive event has to bring our nation together. There was the message from the president, the young poet, “America the Beautiful,” and of course, our National Anthem. It makes you feel good to be an American and that there are good people living across this great and beautiful land.

Most of you know that I do not follow sports. I do not know the buildup to this big game. I just sit down to watch what I hope will be a close and exciting game. From my novice eyes it appeared to be a battle between a youthful quarterback and one with much experience. Youth is always hopeful that they can take experience down a peg. In the end, experience outperformed youth.

In the Christian walk, we hope that experience can outperform youth. We hope that we learn some things along the way so we can walk out our faith. But the truth is, no matter how long you have walked with the Lord, you are going to get knocked down at times. Experience teaches us how to get back up, but sometimes we need our teammates’ help to get back on our feet.

God never intended for any of us to walk out our faith alone. We need each other to successfully fight our way through to victory. We need to surround ourselves with people who believe in us and will challenge and encourage us. I have family, friends and my pastor who are on “Team Doug.” If they see my life going in the wrong direction, they are quick to encourage, challenge, push, pull or do whatever it takes to get me back on track.

In the same way, I will do the same thing for them. I know that I have the gift of encouragement and that God uses me in that way with other people. I want to use my gifts to honor the Lord and to encourage others to press on. The Christian walk is a battle that causes us to grow stronger daily. But there are still going to be those times when we are going to have to come together to engage in battle to overcome and find victory.

God intends us to win the victory. That implies that God knows that we are going to fight battles. He knows keeping the faith is going to require our best effort. He knows that the enemy of our soul strikes when we are weak. When was Jesus tempted? When he had completed a 40 day fast and He was hungry. What does the Bible tell us the devil did after Jesus overcame the temptations? The devil left Jesus and decided to come back at a more opportune time.

If the devil is going to attack us when we are weak, then we need to make sure we have people who will fight for us and with us so we can win the victory. I know the battle is the Lord’s and that He will come and fight for me. I also know that victory comes through the power of prayer, through words of encouragement and through the endurance I discover because I have brothers and sisters who will not let me quit.

I want to encourage you to determine who are your teammates. Who are the people you can count on when the chips are down? Who is going to stand beside you and fight when you feel too weak to fight for yourself? Who is going to bring you that word of encouragement when you feel the darkness closing in?

Lock arms with your teammates. You are going to need each other. I know you are going to see the victory because my God never fails.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or