Defending the Net

Published on June 6, 2017 | By

The Pittsburgh Penguins took a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals over the Nashville Predators, but after two straight wins in front of the home crowd at Bridgestone Arena, the Predators have now tied the series.  Last night’s impressive 4-1 win in Game 4 showcased a dominating performance from Nashville’s goalie, Pekka Rinne. After struggling in the first two games of the series and giving up goals left and right, Rinne bounced back with diving saves, athletic stops, and demonstrated a quick glove. He saw the puck coming in all directions and did whatever it took to protect the goal. He did let one sneak by, but he made sure it didn’t lead to any more goals for the Penguins. 

I’m not a hockey expert, but it’s pretty clear that a team can only go as far as their goalie takes them. As soon as he starts letting pucks in the net, a team is in trouble. This same concept is true in our own lives. Each of us has a responsibility to guard our hearts and minds from allowing evil, negativity, discouragement, and impure thoughts to enter in. 

Each day we have “pucks flying” in every direction, trying to sneak in and penetrate our lives to cause pain and trouble. We must always be aware and ready to defend “our net,” and be willing to dive in front of the sin that comes through culture, media, people, and our past desires.

When these “pucks” are inching closer, we must have a quick glove ready and prevent them from having any room to get in. In hockey, a puck only needs a little space to get by the goalie. The same is true when we give the enemy a little room in our lives.

The Bible says in Ephesians 4:27 (AMP), "And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness]."

Although remaining on guard and blocking sinful thoughts and actions from our lives is challenging, as followers of Jesus, we are given power and strength through the Holy Spirit to think differently and battle well. 

Romans 8:5 (NLT) tells us, "Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit."

As we watch the rest of the Stanley Cup Finals, and consider Nashville’s goalie Pekka Rinne controlling the net, let’s submit to the Holy Spirit’s control as we fortify our “net” and protect our hearts and minds from everything that’s trying to destroy us.

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! 

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please help me to remain on guard and willing to fight against the evil thoughts that try to enter in. I pray that I would focus on You and the wonderful things that please You, instead of the sinful things that cause me great trouble and pain. Thank you for providing me the strength and power I need through Your spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


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