Fourth quarter. We were down by a few points, which meant we still had time to catch up. One kid took off with the ball while another took off after him.

All I knew is that the people behind me stood up and cheered. So I did too.

“Woohoo! Go Pirates!”

Connor and Shawn whacked me on the legs until I sat down. Confused, I looked around me because no one else seemed happy at all.

“We basically just lost the game. Not enough time left to catch up now.”

Looking back, I realized the people behind me were sitting in the wrong section. They were here for the other team and they totally screwed me up.

Because I know nothing about football myself, I have to rely on everyone around me to know what’s going on. If they are happy then I’m cheering too, and if they do a collective sigh, then I’m sagging my shoulders with them.

But if you throw in a group who is cheering for things that go against my side of the field, I have no idea. I just assume they are rooting for my team and so I follow along.

I can make a fool out of myself pretty quickly this way.

Although I’ll be honest, when third graders and all dressed up in football gear acting tough, I want to cheer for every single one of them because they’re adorable.

Yep, I’m that person.

Well except that one kid who kept holding on Logan and I finally yelled into the crowd, “You let go of his shirt right now!”

I don’t think they heard me, but I’m pretty sure Logan would have killed me.

Really, though, I have no way of following along with the sport on my own because I don’t know it myself. I haven’t bothered to learn.

I’ve noticed that this is a problem with Christians today too. Not that I believe a relationship with Jesus is a sport, but I think many people rely on everyone around them to follow Christ.

But they don’t actually know Him for themselves. They are easily led astray and often cheering for things that go against the Bible itself.

We are told that salvation is a free gift, and it is in the sense that you cannot earn it in any way. But the reality is that truly following Christ will cost worldly gain. The Bible tells us so.

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” — 2 Timothy 3:12

Following Jesus isn’t meant to be easy, because it will go against everything of the world. The biggest part of the crowd won’t be cheering for Jesus.

This is the scripture that sticks in my head.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” — Matthew 7:13-14

The narrow gate. A narrow road. Only a few find it. But the Bible also says this.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” — Matthew 7:21

Friends, in this age there are false teachers of the gospel who tickle our ears and sugar coat His message.

How do we distinguish between those leading us down the narrow path and those leading us astray?

Simple, we must follow Him instead of people. If we know Him ourselves, if we cover ourselves with His word, then He will place our feet and guide our steps.

It doesn’t mean we can’t listen to or be inspired by others, but if we train our ears to know His word then we will know who is following Him.

There are only two sides, and the Bible is extremely clear about that. He says that we must decide every single day who we will serve.

Again, I don’t want to compare Christianity to a contact sport. I’m just saying that we can easily find ourselves standing and cheering in the wrong section unless we know Christ ourselves.

Know the word. Seek Him out. Make sure you’re cheering in the right section.

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