Stalemate and Sin

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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Last year my cousins decided it was time to teach Kristen how to play chess. After they educated me it was time for my first real game. It was a very embarrassing game, because here I was being whipped by someone eight years younger than me and being coached by someone ten years younger. After a few helpful tips, I finally had my opportunity. I corned my cousins King and there was no way she could move it without being checked. When I was about to leap up in victory, she informed me that the game was over and I hadn't won. When I asked "Why?" she informed me about the stale mate rule. For those of you who don't know chess like I obviously didn't, what this rule means is that you can't win by cornering the other person. In order to check the king, you have to catch the other player off guard.

As I looked back on that game of chess, I thought doesn't this stale mate rule also exist in our spiritual life? Just when temptation is built up and any move we make we will be 'checked', God pulls out the rule book and reminds us that Satan can't win the game by cornering us. If he tries, we call "stale mate" (or on the blood of Jesus) and it's over. The only way Satan can win is by catching us off guard, which only gives us all the more reason to keep our guard up because you never know when he might attack.

The other day I was reading a story and I thought I'd share it with you. The story was about Dr. Yonggicho, who is the pastor of the worlds largest church. It's located in Korea and has over 800,000 members. Dr. Yonggicho was speaking at a Pastor's conference and introduced a member of his staff. He said about this man: "I always bring this man with me because I am susceptible to sexual temptations and he is my safe guard." The audience was silent, but every person there knew what he meant.

Ever since I read that story, it's been in the back of my mind. Think about it. Dr. Yonggicho was more concerned with the fact that he might sin than he was with his own pride. He knew he had a problem with sexual temptation and he didn't want to give in. So even when he is tired and weary, he brings this man with him to help him keep his guard up and fight temptation.

You see, Satan can only catch us off guard if we put out guard down. So wouldn't it make sense, if we are serious about not sinning, to leave our guard up? And if we can't keep our guard up on our own, to find someone to help us in our struggle? Maybe you can't afford to have your own staff member who keeps you accountable wherever you go, but you can have an accountability partner. Someone who you can share your weaknesses with and who you can count on to hold you accountable for your actions. And in return, you keep them accountable for their actions? If every Christian had an accountability partner, I'm sure sin would drop drastically among Christians.

So why don't you try it? Find a friend and ask them if they are interested in becoming your accountability partner. If you can't find someone, talk to your pastor and maybe you can set up an accountability system with him. And if you've exhausted both avenues to no avail, then just keep your guard up. Remember: Jesus has already fought and won the battle for us. The only way we can let Satan win is if we let our guard down.

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.