You’ve got to be right or wrong. I love the satisfaction when you are right—and the agony when you are wrong.
—NFL referee Ed Hochuli, interview with USA Today, October 9, 2007
Quarterback Russell Wilson released a high, arcing Hail Mary pass toward the end zone. Two Seattle Seahawks and four Green Bay Packers leaped to catch it. The crowd landed, the ball somewhere among them. One official signaled touchdown Seahawks. One official signaled interception Packers. The score stood. The Seahawks won. And the third team was the source of great controversy.
The third team? The team of officials, in this case replacements being used during a labor lockout of the real refs. Their commitment and allegiance belong to a different kingdom: the NFL office. Their authority comes from a book that holds the guidelines, rules, and regulations by which they are to manage the events on the field. If an official’s viewpoint leaves the book, he demotes himself to the status of a fan; he becomes illegitimate in terms of authority.
Men, you have received instructions from the League office in heaven. You have been given the Book under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. To rule well, to bring order to the chaos in this war called life, you must align your heart and mind with God’s sovereign instruction and guidelines. You must sharpen your ear to the call of your Commissioner. You must hide His Book in your heart to rule well according to His purposes.