Leading up to the Super Bowl, there was talk among some people about a prophecy spoken over the Carolina Panthers. If you haven’t heard about this before, you can find more information here. In short, there is a prophecy that when the Panthers win the Super Bowl revival will break out. I don’t know how the two will weave together or any details, just simply that their win at the Super Bowl will be a demarcation in time that will separate the before and after in a way that is spiritually historical.
When the game started Sunday, I had a feeling that it just wasn’t going to happen for the Panthers. And part of it was because of Cam Newton. I had a sense that it would almost be a horrible thing for him if they won this year. How would he ever learn humility? One thing that really stuck out to me during the first few minutes of the game was Cam’s jersey number, number one. Now obviously this wasn’t the first time that I had seen his jersey number, I just previously had never paid much attention. But this time, as I watched I thought to myself, why do people expect humility from a guy who chose number 1 for his jersey?
Then yesterday, the day after the Super Bowl, I was watching a program ESPN did on Cam on YouTube. Not sure when this originally aired but I was shocked, like eyes WIDE OPEN shocked, when I saw Cam’s high school footage and he was wearing the number 2 on his jersey. So I begin to think, okay…when did the switch to number 1 happen? The piece goes through his Florida State Days, his Junior College days and his Auburn days…all the number 2. So today I do some research on the internet and find that Cam wanted the number 2 but the player at the Panthers who had the number 2, Jimmy Claussen, wouldn’t give it up. The crazy thing is, a year later, the same player Claussen switched from the number he wouldn’t give to Cam, to a different number all on his own. Now tell me that isn’t strange!
What is my point with all this? My point is simple. Could it be that the Church is right where Cam Newton, jersey number 1, is at this point in time? Full of potential? Full of purpose? Poised for revival? Totally equipt to do the job set in front of them? Equipt in a way that is new and different and maybe never seen before? But being held back by one thing, the same thing. In the fourth chapter of James scripture teaches us that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Could it be that the one thing that is holding back Cam, is the same thing that is holding back the church? Could it be that the Lord is holding back because he is waiting for a completely surrendered, completely submitted Church? Could pride be the resisting force in all of this?
I believe God is calling to his people and saying that it is time to take the ax to the root of those things that are holding us back. It’s time to acknowledge that if there is any area of our life where we don’t wake up and realize how desperately we need God, there is a self-seeking, sub-rebellious pride still alive and well functioning in that area of our lives. Maybe we see the need for God’s help in our marriage, or our health. But the areas where you feel you have got it together, where you know what you are doing. Could those areas be where pride is growing in the shadows?
I think that Cam, like the Church, needs to return to his roots. It’s time to pull that number 2 off the shelf. Who cares about the jersey’s that people have…hey – they’ll be worth more in the long run. What a testimony it would be, and what a heart change it would show, if he were to reach for that number 2…because after all, there is only ONE who is above all things.