I sometimes think that the Christian life is like a game of chess.
The basic requirement is to have a knowledge of the function of each piece and the unique way it moves. It may seem complicated at first, but it soon becomes second nature. Before each game you need a strategy. You need to know where you are going, but at the same time be flexible and be prepared for surprises.
A good opening game is vital, this is where games can be won or lost. The way has to be opened up for the attacking pieces to have full access to the board, at the same time ensuring that your king is secure and protected. At this stage, your opponent may try to catch you unawares with some early attacking moves. So think very carefully before you make a move and have no fear, his premature moves will usually have no substance, so hold your ground.
Now we come to the middle game. It’s no good just staying on the defensive, doing nothing is not an option, as this is not a passive game. Wait for the appropriate time to go on the attack and seize the opportunity. You may feel vulnerable as you step out and wonder if there is something you have missed, but don't be put off. Be bold and have the conviction of what you know.
I used to have a good opening game, my middle game was - err middling and my end game often not so good. Nowadays I am learning perseverance and patience. You don't win them all - think about it, there would be no ‘game’ if you won every time - but you learn from your mistakes for next time.
“If a king goes out with ten thousand men to fight another king who comes against him with twenty thousand men, he will sit down first and decide if he is strong enough to face that other king.” Luke 14:31 Good News Bible
“Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12 The Message Bible