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But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us reveals the fragrance of the knowledge of Him in every place.
2 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB)


Series: Games People Play

My dad taught me how to play the game of chess. In the dusk of a quiet evening or the leisure of a Saturday afternoon, we’d pull up a chair to the side table in the living room, and the lessons ensued. A game of strategy, the players must think ahead, estimate their opponent’s moves, and strategically plan their approach.

You may recognize the word checkmate. In chess, this term identifies the moment when the escape of the opponent’s king is impossible, marking the end of the game. The player who obtained the checkmate is the winner. The player who has been checkmated is the loser.

Checkmate has filtered into our everyday language to refer to someone who or something that has been stopped, thwarted, trapped, or defeated. It is a poignant illustration of our position in Christ, as opposed to Satan.

Jesus defeated Satan through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. Surrounding, overtaking, and conquering, Jesus checkmated Satan! So, what is our position on that chessboard?

Some days we may feel like pawns—a soldier in the army of Christ, but the weakest player on the board. In some battles, we may feel like knights—guardians and protectors—but limited in our abilities. Laser-focused and our vision set, we may operate as rooks or bishops.

The queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard. She moves in all directions and covers as many squares as she wants. Sometimes we are confident in God and in who we are in Christ. Steadfast, bold, and sure in faith, we trust in God as we maneuver through trials and circumstances.

The ultimate piece is the King. The game assigns no value to the King, for His value is infinite—immeasurable. The life of one King establishes the victor, and the death of the other king defines the defeated. When we hide our lives in Christ our King, we move and operate in His wisdom and triumph over the enemy.

Let’s visit a few scriptures that secure this truth for us. In John 16:33 (HCSB), after teaching about His coming death, resurrection, and the promise of His Holy Spirit, Jesus said:

I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.

Paul wrote in Colossians 2:13-15 (NLT):

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross.

In Romans 8:11, Paul wrote that the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us who believe. And in 1 John 4:4, John wrote:

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory…because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. (NLT)

As I reflect on my father’s willingness to teach me the strategies of chess, I recognize our Father’s readiness to provide wisdom as we move through our lives. James 1:5 (HCSB) says:

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.

When we look to God for wisdom and help, we can be assured of His presence with us, His power in us, and the victory we already have established by our King Jesus. The more we practice, the more proficient we become. And as we grow in Christ, we’ll be able to stand in the enemy’s face and boldly declare, “Checkmate!”

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 1 Corinthians 5:57 (HCSB)

Holding Fast to Hope,


Scripture References: 2 Corinthians 2:14; John 16; Colossians 2:8-15; Romans 8:11; 1 John 4:4, 5:4; James 1:5; 1 Corinthians 5:57; Revelation 12:10-11


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