Gap Discipline

In football, gap integrity means being where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there. Defenses can fail when just one person is out of position or does not carry out his assigned responsibility.

Each defensive player is assigned a specific gap and is expected to defend that ground. If a player is not in his assigned gap, no one else will be there to cover the offense because they have their own gaps to fill. As a result, the other team gains ground.

A talented football team can fail when it lacks gap discipline and does not follow the strategy given by the coaches. In this way, a less-talented offense can exploit that more-talented defense and score points.

From Football to Life

In life, we have to live obediently and strategically in our work responsibilities, marriages, friendships, parenting, etc. Not filling these gaps – not being where we’re supposed to be when we’re supposed to be there – leaves our lives open for attack and failure.

Not only does a lack of gap integrity cause us to personally fail, but we place the ones we care about in a position where they must struggle to trust and have confidence in us. As a result, the relationship is significantly damaged, and the other team scores points.

A Solid Defense

A solid defense is one that gives its offense time and ground to do what it needs to do to score points. A good defense fills holes (i.e., gaps) the other team might be trying to exploit. A solid defense also:

  • Listens to and follows the plan set forth by the coach. Many examples of godly leaders (i.e., coaches) exist: Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Samuel, and Nathan. Unfortunately, the Israelites (i.e., players) refused to hear the message (i.e., follow the coach’s game plan).
  • Prepares for the plays the offense they are playing next typically runs. We all have plays that Satan likes to run on us, and he never has anything new. We need to be prepared for these offensive attacks.
  • Makes adjustments during the game. Because an offense constantly looks for holes in a defense, the defense must constantly adjust to the offense’s new plan of attack.

Jesus gives us the perfect example of a solid defense in Matthew 4:1-11. When Satan tempted Him, Jesus defended His ground with scripture. God’s Word gives us the game plan. The Bible exists as our best protection against the advances of the other team.

Our Game Plan

Someone once said, “Christians don’t plan to sin, but they also don’t plan not to.” Failing to have a plan leads to dangerous places. For this reason, we must anticipate temptation and plan responses. No, we can’t plan for every possible scenario, but having a plan will give us a much greater chance of success.

At the very least, we must learn to:

There are no timeouts, no half-time, and no breaks. We must constantly be vigilant. We must keep in shape. We must fully know that the moment we think we’re okay is probably the moment we’re most vulnerable.