I have recently become a fan of the American sitcom, The Big Bang Theory (for my fellow millennials who just shook their heads at the fact that I’m now into a classic that has been on the air since September 2007…yeah, I know I’m a tad behind :P).

There is one scene that isn’t particularly the funniest I’ve seen, but keeps replaying in my head: Penny, a waitress and aspiring actress who has never played chess a single day in her life, finds that she has indeed won a chess game against Leonard, a PhD experimental physicist at Caltech, who I’m sure literally plays chess in his dreams. What I find the most hilarious about this scene is that Leonard is so caught off guard about Penny’s win that he tries to find where Penny must have gone wrong; after all, how can a chess newbie beat a PhD candidate with an IQ of 173?

But there had to be some moves Penny made that led her to her unforgettable victory. It didn’t just happen with one move and suddenly Leonard’s queen was doomed. No, Penny’s knight made a move, her rook made a few moves, as did the rest of her chess pieces until… bam! Leonard is slapped with a checkmate. I’m sure Leonard underestimated his opponent, or else, he would have paid careful attention.

Sound familiar?

Someone said a mean word to you, maybe offended you without apology. Couple hours later, your new car gets hit on your way home. Once you get home, you find a voicemail from your doctor that unfortunately confirms that the test results for that disease came out positive. As a student you study all day, all week, all month long for that test only to squeeze a C-. A few hours later, a call from home reminds you how unacceptable all your efforts are (regardless of how hard you try). You power up your laptop and your email flashes bank reminders of your impending student loans, and scrolling through Instagram reveals no sign of anyone else sharing your struggles.

The whispers in your head reminding you of your incompetency grows louder, your self-esteem trying to gain composure from the circumstantial blow, you feel helpless, and unfortunately, many entertain the idea of taking matters into their own hands.

It is not very obvious, but this is a chess game. The events that led up to the abyss of despair we feel are all little moves that ultimately lead to our checkmate. Our opponent: the devil.

The first part of John 10:10 {MSG} says:

“A thief [which is the devil] is only there to steal and kill and destroy…”

The only agenda that the opponent has in this chess game of life is to steal your joy, kill your dreams, and destroy your spirit and zeal for living life. And he will do anything, I mean he’s pulling all the cards, tricks, moves, etc. to make sure you are obliterated. Funny thing is, he is patient about it. The devil will have planned a strategy that takes years, and as long as we, his opponents, aren’t paying careful attention, he will stick it out until he succeeds.

Fortunately, John10:10 {MSG} continues:

“…I [Jesus] came so they [you and me!] can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

This is what gives us the power to beat the devil at his own game, because we got the major move of all: Jesus! Once we recognize that the end goal of the devil is to essentially obliterate our being, then we are able to pull our J-piece [Jesus] and completely halt him in his tracks, letting him know who the real winner is; Just like Penny isn’t meant to beat Leonard, the devil is not meant to take your life in any way, shape, or form. He already lost the game as soon as Jesus entered the game room. But this can only happen as soon as you allow J into the game room of your life – as soon as you accept Jesus into your heart.

Romans 10:9-11 {ESV}

“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved”

When J took our place at the game board, J was like, “I see you try to steal my baby’s joy, kill his/her dreams, and completely destroy that spirit I love so much about him/her, huh? Well, we’ll just override that with better life, and oh, crush that with eternal life, and for the win, rub it in your face by granting him/her with a life way better than they even imagined…Oh would you look at that devil – checkmate!”

Recognize that Jesus is here for you and desires for you to win at this game of life. Let him drop the mic on the one opponent that never had a chance in the first place, AND! it takes one, simple, audible prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins. Come into my heart. Wash me clean. I make you my Lord and Savior, Amen”.

Allow me to be the first to say CONGRATULATIONS! You just got inducted into God’s heavenly family, and all of heaven is raising the roof – er, maybe the clouds – on your behalf! 🙂 

Now, go live your life and go take back what’s rightfully yours.


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