I remember years ago when my son was playing in a middle school basketball tourney. Opening night he posted some big numbers for scoring and assists. He really looked good; not only to me but also to the coach of the team they would be facing the next day. I congratulated my son on his game and followed it up with the following warning: “You will have to be ready tomorrow because the team will probably play a box-and -1 on you…”
As a player there is not much more frustrating, nor more flattering than when an opposing coach decides you warrant a box-and-1 defense. For those of you that are not basketball folks, a box-and-1 defense is a non-traditional (or junk) defense that involves the opposing team making a choice to cover one guy with a man-to-man coverage while the rest of their team plays a zone. The opposition is essence stating “Your best player isn’t going to beat us tonight.” (HoopsKing.com)
This is frustrating because it means that you are a marked man. You know that there will be someone getting after you all night long! Yet it is flattering because this means you have caught their attention.
Let’s face it we all love attention, be it in the sports world, entertainment, education, love, etc…
“Call me an artist because I draw attention.” (Unknown)
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” (Steve Martin)
Yet spiritually speaking that attention can definitely be frustrating. I think there can be a great case made for the fact that the more success you face spiritually (the more noise you are making) the more the enemy is going to mark you!
At the end of Matthew 3 we read the account of Jesus’ baptism; chapter 4 verse 1 begins with the following statement: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” In other words we see that following great spiritual experiences we are prone to temptation… I am not sure about you but my life is full of examples on this. It seems that the greater the spiritual mountain top, the greater the potential fall…
We also see from this account in the Scriptures that the enemy will attack when we start new ventures. Satan was not only attacking immediately following the baptism but also at the onset of Christ’s public ministry. In chapter 4 verse 17 it states that “from that time Jesus began to preach…”
Dare2Share.org has an article that asks the question “Does Satan attack all Christians equally?” There is a great quote in that article from 400 years ago when a preacher named Richard Baxter made this statement: ‘“…take heed to yourselves because the tempter will make his first and sharpest assault on you…He bears the greatest malice against the man who is engaged in working the greatest damage against him.' In other words to the degree that you are making a dent in Satan’s kingdom, he wants to make a dent in your head.”
So here is your encouragement: it is so cool to be a difference maker and get the enemy’s attention!
And here is your warning: he will attack!
I don’t know about you but I want Satan to feel like he has to go box-and-1 on me!