Here is why the 49ers lost: let it be a lesson to every preacher in the world.
Mario, have you run out of things to write about? Are you seriously going to give us a message from the San Francisco Forty Niners? Yes, because there are so many ladies out there who still have not gotten enough football and they are grieving that the season is over…not!
Seriously, I saw something very plain and simple in the closing moments of the most watched event in the history of the world. The 49ers made a glaring and classic error when victory was assured.
First let me make the case from history. Every general will tell you that the most overrated tactic of war is the element of surprise. It is nearly impossible to truly surprise any army and more often than not the tactic of surprise backfires badly.
Even in the Old Testament God rarely led Israel to use to this tactic; Gideon being the notable exception.
It was in the 1960s that the Green Bay Packers faced the precise situation that the 49ers faced Sunday. They were behind by less than a touchdown and it was fourth and goal from the 3 yard line. There would not be enough time for the other team to score if the Packers scored a touchdown.
Everyone in that stadium knew which play that Vince Lombardi would call. Every player on the field knew exactly what the Packers were going to do. The Packers had perfected the dive play. Bart Starr would hand the ball to Paul Hornung and the line would power an opening for him.
Let me rehearse something for you. Lombardi knew that his opponent knew exactly what play he was going to call. It was the play that got him here and he were not about to abandon it. Lombardi was making a statement: “we are not here to try and fool you; we are here to beat you.”
The Forty Niners had gotten to the Super Bowl, in large part because of the mobility of Colin Kaepernick, the power of Frank Gore’s running and the force of their offensive line. I am not taking away anything from the Niner’s defense because it is also devastating.
Nevertheless, as I said before, they faced the same exact situation as the Green Bay Packers. They had first and goal from the eight yard line. They had four plays to try and gain eight yards!
Jim knew that big brother John knew what the 49ers were going to do. Everyone knew it! That is when the brain burp hit the coaching staff. “Let’s surprise them and pass the ball.”
There are million things wrong with that idea but one of the biggest is that you weaken your team’s confidence. The unintended message is, “we can’t beat them with what got us here so let’s fool them.”
When they did it the first time, I was in stunned disbelief! But then they did it again!
Now they faced fourth down and goal with only a few yards to go. If the Forty Niners scored they would be champions! Most of the known world knows what happened next; they passed the ball once more and lost.
Recently the anti-Christians forces have stolen the conversation to frame Christians as mindless, angry fanatics. This poisoned narrative has shaken Pastors to wonder if they need to alter course and present a less potent Gospel.
Right now, all over the world there are preachers getting ready to either quit or radically change the way they do ministry. They have suffered a setback and are wondering if the times have changed so radically that the old ways will simply not work anymore.
They are forgetting what made them successful. They are foolishly tinkering with the place of the Holy Spirit in their services.
Instead of standing their ground and holding on to their convictions, they are frantically searching for a way to SURPRISE the modern world with the Gospel.
Get this: We are not going to surprise the Devil. We are not going to surprise society. Now is the time for you to see through the lie, stand your ground and remember, remember what got you here. Wait out this storm, it will pass and you will see the fruit of your faithfulness.
You must also remember what got the Church of Jesus Christ here. She has weathered the greatest storms, despots, tyrants, persecution and rejection. Why? Because before there ever was a Vince Lombardi telling his team “we will win with what got us here,” …Jesus said, “ON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT!”