We all face challenges in our lives…we all have moments in which we haven’t a clue as to what the next move is…in life’s game of chess, we sometimes can be the Queen, feeling as if we could move anywhere – getting in and out of trouble with ease.

Other times, we feel as if we are a pawn in this chess match…we feel expendable…we feel as if we are used up and put out to be taken down by the world.

Here is where we make a choice…

Here is where we have to look at the entire game, and not just the next move…

In chess, to be a world champion, you have to be able to think ahead…you have to be able to read the board and anticipate your opponents next move.  To win, you have to manipulate the pieces in such a way to earn the victory in an attack that your opponent doesn’t see coming.  The strategy is simple, disguise your plans in such a way that the real surprise comes from a trap that you’ve set many moves in advance.

The enemy that we as Christians face knows how to manipulate the playing field in such a way that we are blindsided by the attack…in those times, if we are the queen, we come crashing down to reality…if we are the pawn, we have to realize that maybe we served our purpose…to provide enough protection to keep the king safe.

In the game of chess, the object is to take down the other king, on our side…the king is the King of Kings.  We all have our part to play in this game, and some of us may be taken down by the enemy, but we have to serve our purpose.

Being taken down by the enemy doesn’t mean we are out, it means we have accomplished our part…it means that we have sacrificed ourselves for the greater cause.  A number of saints have met their demise in this fashion…Stephen was stoned for his part…Paul was imprisioned over and over…the Disciples were run out of town after town in an effort to stifle the game plan…and Jesus, He was the queen.  Jesus moved where he needed, could take any piece, but the most amazing part of this game we are a part of…Jesus moved himself in front of the pawns…Jesus moved himself to the front lines to accomplish the ultimate goal.

We may be a pawn…but we serve a purpose.

The real part we play comes when we realize our role, when we realize what our purpose is…when we realize we may have to put ourselves in danger’s way and sacrifice everything to accomplish the ultimate protection.

A well strategized game of chess is one in which the player uses the pawns to set up the move that will overtake the opponent.  A champion in the game of chess utilizes the pawn as one of the most important pieces on the board…because when you put the pawn in a position to be taken, the real reason could be that the knight or the rook is standing in wait to take the opponent’s bishop or queen.

Play your role, and if sacrifice is required for the opponent to be overtaken – deny yourself…

Sounds familiar doesn’t it

“23Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

— Luke 9:23-24 (NIV)

To succeed, you must sacrifice…to win, you must deny yourself.  Jesus lays it out plain and simple – If you want to save yourself, if you want to save the world…you must lose your life to save it.  You must deny yourself to become like Christ…you must give up everything sometimes to receive the true blessing that awaits.