It's called "The Big Dance"...which I don't get, because it's about basketball-right? I like the other nickname: "March Madness" - because for 20 days much of the nation goes into a round ball frenzy that is unparalleled in fervor and fanaticism. For over 65 years this month has brought excitement, drama, and unlikely tales of low seeded underdog teams gaining impossible victories over perennial favorites.
Like the one that inspired the movie "Glory Road". You have a first year coach who jumped from coaching high school girls to Division 1-A hoops who puts together a patchwork team that initially looks like the island of misfit toys. Somehow they make it into the Big Dance (again-not about dancing...what's the deal?) and wind up in the final game against one of the best programs in NCAA history.
Oh yeah, and they also faced a hostile crowd fueled by shameless racism and ignorant opinions.
Nobody gave the little known team from El Paso a chance, but they took a chance and dominated the dominant Kentucky Wildcats and proved to the world that what the great Yogi Berra said was true:
"It ain't over 'til it's over."
Which reminds me of another Big Dance (did I mention it's not about dancing?) that is taking place-not on a hard wood floor-but on the stage of the universe. We are in a cosmic contest with the Devil and his angels- and believe me; his team is definitely high ranked. In fact, on paper it looks like we don't even stand a chance. Satan is called the "the mighty prince and the power of the air" (so could we call him "Air Satan"?) and we are absolutely no match for his vastly superior power.
But it ain't over 'til it's over...and it's not over yet. There's a final contest where we come to play in the power of the One who will slam dunk the enemy like Shaq over a skinny white guy named Greg.
Here's how it's going to go down:
When the thousand years end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations from every corner of the earth, which are called Gog and Magog. He will gather them together for battle - a mighty host, as numberless as sand along the shore. And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God's people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.
Then the Devil, who betrayed them, was thrown into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10)
Teams that have the confidence that they can win tend to dominate the court. Guess what? We don't hope that we'll win, we know we're going to win...so don't you think it's about time we started playing like champions in the ultimate big dance (which is...never mind). Throw up your prayers like a hot shooter, and take the message of the gospel to the masses like a power forward charging through the paint. Let March Madness remind you of the fervor and fanaticism that should drive us to the ultimate victory we are guaranteed in Jesus Christ!
Are you ready for Game Day? If so, check out the Dare 2 Share Game Day Tour information at www.dare2share.org/gameday
Greg Stier is the founder and president of Dare 2 Share Ministries, International (D2S) based in Denver, Colorado. Over the last decade, Greg has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of Christian teenagers across the country through Dare 2 Share conferences. His goal is to train and equip 1,000,000 Christian teens across America to share their faith with courage, clarity and compassion. Greg is well known for his ability to inspire teenagers to action by communicating Biblical truth through amazing true-life stories and side-splitting humor. His driving passion to reach the lost erupts from being raised in a tough, urban family of "thugs" that one by one was transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Greg is also the author of several books: Outbreak! Creating a Contagious Youth Ministry Through Viral Evangelism, Last Chance...A Survival Guide for End-times Evangelism, and BattleZone...Arming Yourself to Wage War with the Devil - all published by Moody Press.
Prior to D2S, Greg was the preaching pastor at Grace Church in Arvada, Colorado. After the Columbine tragedy, Greg resigned from the pastorate to pursue training student evangelists full-time through D2S's weekend evangelism training conferences.
Greg graduated in 1988 from Colorado Christian University with a degree in youth ministry. He and his wife Debbie and their children, Jeremy and Kailey, live in Arvada, Colorado and attend Grace Church.
For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries, please visit www.dare2share.org.