A player is considered offside if he is closer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the last defender (exclusive of the goalkeeper). In football, teams have developed a strategy called the ‘offside trap’ which attempts to force the attacking team into an offside position. Just as the ball is about to be played through to the attacker; the last defender moves up a bit leaving the attacker in an isolated position or offside.
The devil lures us to play with sin. He makes sin appeal to our senses allowing us to become absorbed by its attractiveness. This attraction clouds our discernment making it difficult to distinguish between right from wrong, light from darkness or God’s side from the offside.
As the ball, (which represents embarrassment) is about to be passed to us, like the last defender, the devil steps up a bit leaving us in an offside position. He leaves us alone to deal with our shame, guilt and exposed sins.
In these moments of loneliness God reassures us that ‘He will never leave us nor forsake us’ (Deuteronomy 31:6). Despite our flirtations with the ‘offside’, God still wants us on His side. Isn’t that amazing?
When the attacker strays offside, the linesman immediately raises his flag and alerts the referee to sound his whistle. The whistle informs the attacker of his current position and he walks back onside.
The Holy Spirit acts as our referee. He whistles to us in a still small voice ( 1 Kings 9:12). He alerts us of our current position so we can walk back to God’s side. But in order for us recognize the frequency of God’s voice, we need to have a relationship with him. We need to study the scripture and pray in silence to acclimatize to his tone.
Listen to the voice of God, beware of the offside trap and stay on God’s side.
Thought for the day: “My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” – Abraham Lincoln
Text for meditation: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)