How many times have you caught yourself praying when your favorite team is down by two and has the ball with three seconds left? Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it.
When we get caught up in the excitement of the moment, we tend to forget that God has children who are fans of the other team as well!
I imagine it’s that way with just about everything in life. For instance, after a terrorist attack or act of war, we are less likely to pray for the citizens of the nation who attacked us. And when your own government’s leaders make policies you disagree with, it becomes harder to pray for God to give them wisdom and guidance to do their job. And yet, Jesus has said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
God has important purposes for our differences. Specifically, we display what is most important to us by what we will set aside our differences for. For example, when fans from rival teams stand together for the National Anthem, you know that they value their mutual allegiance to America more than their loyalty to their team. Likewise, when believers from opposing nations worship together, you know that Christ is more important to them than political interests.
Ultimately, favorite teams, national citizenship, and political affiliation have less importance in the Kingdom of God. In Christ, all believers are citizens of Heaven, servants of the King, and members of one team (Phil. 3:20, John 12:26, Eph. 4:5). One day, we will all be together worshipping at His throne!
One way we can express our submission to Christ in this life is to begin living in unity with all believers.. Instead of waiting until Heaven to worship together, let’s welcome people from all backgrounds into our Churches. Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Matt. 21:13). Instead of harboring anger toward governments and political parties, let’s pray for the citizens of all nations (including our own). Remember, God is over all things, (Col. 1:17), all nations (Psalm 86:9), and all kings (Prov. 21:1).
Now, I know what you’re wondering. Yes, I’m still a huge fan of my favorite team, –I’m just a bigger fan of Jesus!