In football, the most glamorous position is usually the quarterback. Yet, I’m sure if you were to ask any quarterback what’s the most important position to him and he will tell you it’s his offensive line. This essentially consists of a center, two guards and two tackles. Of the 2 guards, one seemingly has a more important role to play in protecting the quarterbacks ‘blindside,’ the side where his back is exposed to the enemy who is trying to infiltrate, sack and destroy him. The position is not glamorous and folks rarely know your name, except when you make a mistake and it’s revealed to all that you got beat by your opponent. It’s one of the few positions where you never see the action and your back is to the ball during the most critical moments of the play.
In boxing, you’ll hear a coach scream at his fighter, “Keep you guard up! Don’t let your guard down!” Why? Because the fighter is both on the offensive and defensive at all times. He is constantly trying to take out his opponent while guarding his head! Letting one’s guard down in boxing could prove not only costly, but possibly fatal!
So, when it comes to our walk of faith, you may hear, “What difference does it make?” We just had a former Secretary of State use that phrase not too long ago. Likewise, how many times have we heard the “Don’t Judge-Me” card trumped down? Does it make a difference? I can be wrong in a judgment call and make amends. Yet, like the offensive guard on the blindside of the quarterback, if I let my guard down, someone gets hurt and possibly killed.
Our adversary is seeking to steal, kill and destroy. What difference does it make? It seemed to make a pretty significant difference to The Quarterback (The Messiah) in Matthew 24, when his team asked him 3 questions about the “end times,”: “When will it happen, what will be the sign and the end of the age?” The Messiah’s first words out of His mouth “See to it you are not deceived/misled.” Why would he say that? Because not only can we be deceived and misled, but there is someone out there trying to do just that!
Then He goes on to explain it this way. Visualize it with me, let’s say it is a football huddle, The Messiah is the Quarterback and everyone is looking at Him, and He says, many are coming on our team saying that, “I am the Quarterback,” pointing to Himself. He’s going to come in our huddle, wearing the same uniform on the outside, maybe with the #66, but not always! That’s who we need to be on guard! And you still are wondering what difference does it make?
Adam was the first offensive guard! The Creator created everything for him, food, healthcare, Life, retirement, a spouse to be fruitful with; and if that wasn’t a nice package, Adam got to fellowship, walk and talk with The Creator! What did The Creator ask Adam to do to maintain all of the above?
And the LORD took the man and put him in the garden of Eḏen to work it and to guard it. –Gen. 2:15
Work the Garden and Guard the Garden. What difference does it make if he didn’t guard the garden? You get what we got!
When will we begin to keep our guard up? Does it make a difference? Obviously, in the modern church world it doesn’t. We have diluted and distilled ourselves down to insipidness by allowing any and all to come and not be on guard, as even Paul warned us with the same warning!
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. –Acts 20:28
Seems like it made a difference to Paul.
Nehemiah warned us as well.
Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. –Nehemiah 6:1-4
What if we had said to Nehemiah, “What difference does it make? Looks like they want to help, let’s let them.”
Even the brethren in Acts didn’t let Paul in after his conversion. They tested the spirits “to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).
And when Paul had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. –Acts 9:26
One can make an error in judgment and make amends, but let your guard down to the one who comes in as an ‘angel of light’ can prove to be fatal.
Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals. -1 Cor. 15:33
It made a difference to Paul when advising Titus.
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake… They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. –Titus 1:10-11, 16
Creeps and sneaks are always trying to get in! Jude warns, “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4).”
“And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” –Mark 8:15
“Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” –Luke 12:1
“How is it that ye do not understand that I spoke it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” –Matthew 16:11
“A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” –Galatians 5:9
What difference does it make? Depends on whose recipe you’re following? The pure message of The Word or a mixed message polluted over time where one refuses to let go and be cleansed makes all the difference in the world.
Beware of setting your standard of “like-minded believers.” Even the demons believe. You want to associate with like-minded “behaviors.”
This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.” –Proverbs 30:20
In other words, you can almost hear her say, what difference does it make?
Now is not the time to play the “Don’t Judge Me Card” because it doesn’t make a difference. We need to keep our guard up, so we don’t get blindsided! Then we will be in one accord, able to receive the power necessary to destroy the works of the devil and advance Christ’s Kingdom, who will be able to keep the corruption of Ananias and Sapphira out of His body!
I think it makes a big difference. Don’t You?