Praise God, Saints. I was doing a writeup on the Super Bowl Double when I heard God say, "I want you to write about Ben Roethlisberger."
What I didn't know was that Ben's a devout Christian, loving father and husband. Despite the negative feedback coming against him, (the devil is the accuser of the brethren), Big Ben adds value in more ways than you might know. How?
Our value doesn't come from THEM, THEIR opinions, or our past mistakes. Our value comes from God and what we believe about forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
When I started the writeup on Ben Roethlisberger, what immediately struck me as odd was the number of grievances and complaints about him, while he only gave glory to God. Oh, reallllly? There's the devil with his lies.
In announcing his retirement, Ben said "Football is a gift and I thank God for allowing me to play it."
So, what was I missing?
What I found concerning was the comments mirrored the familiar churning that I saw against President Trump. And I thought...
"Wait a minute...is Ben a Christian?" Yup, checked that box off. My next question was obvious "And does he support President Trump?" Yes, checked that box off, too. Uh, Houston, we have a problem!
I realized the comments were NOT at all about the gameplay for this future Hall of Famer (prayers up, as he certainly deserves it). The haters were dredging up allegations from his past. But why?
I mean we know why as the devil only attacks those he deems as threats, i.e., lights shining before God and exposing the darkness.
As I researched more into Ben's past, I started to see the details clearly. Here was a man of God who stood by God, his family and his team. The problem is when it comes to Dems versus Republicans, Biden versus Trump and light/good versus evil/darkness, our nation is so divided, and many cannot see yet that God has called President Trump and Trump holds God's mantle. But God has been saying to us prophetically that "Many don't see it yet, but they will see soon."
So, what's that got to do with Ben? Good question.
Christians learn at some point in their faith walk that "many are the afflictions of the righteous" and that "God delivers us from them all" but the latter usually doesn't come until later in our Christian walk.
We go through this Wilderness experience or time of testing first. Hence, we don't always see God's plan and purpose early on. Take Ben, for example.
In his first five seasons, he was exposed to all kinds of sin and temptation. As a young football player, he probably screwed up a bunch of times. Heck. We all do, right? But God forgives and God is merciful. Ben even acknowledges this in a Sports and Spectrum interview a few years back about his early Christian walk.
"I wasn’t growing in my faith. Those are the few things I regret, and I wish I would have done better in college." He went on to say about those early years, "There was that period of three, four years in college, and then three or four years in the pros where I wasn’t growing as a Christian, and I wish I would have because I can only imagine where my walk would be now. But you have to remember these things, that it’s His plan, and He knew what He was doing."
In that same message from 2020, he talks about the changes and his growth in God and Christ.
"But now we do Bible studies on Friday mornings and there might be 20-some guys in there. At chapel the night before a game there’s so many people. I don’t think you have to be either a really good athlete or a really good Christian. You can be both."
So, if Ben's striving to do better, like most young players and young men do, why all the flack?
What a lot of people don't realize is often the trials and tests God delivers us from are related to our callings, i.e., there are no coincidences with God. And that's probably what happened with Ben.
Roethlisberger was exposed to all kinds of stuff, sexual sin, drugs, alcohol, etc. And who are we to judge. Wess Morgan, a gospel singer and recovering drug addict sums it up whenever he sings Donny McClurkin's song "We fall down, and we get up." As God reminded me about the lyrics in this song when we used it in our Be Ready to Launch in February messages, "You can get back up again. You can get back up again."
The problem is THIS devil here doesn't want us getting back up. He wants the lame man to stay lame because there's a HUGE difference between being on the ground not knowing who you are and, on your face, humbly worshiping God because you know what He can do.
EVERYONE is young and dumb at some point. Or let's phrase it another way as Jesus kneels, draws the line in the sand and says, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Crickets...Because we all fall short, i.e., every knee bows.
What it boils down to is the devil doesn't want you or me or anyone else delivered for that matter because then we would turn on our enablers (Luke to Darth Vader: "You ain't my daddy!).
So, here's Ben with his passing pocket or what he referred to as backyard football. He's got John Elway as his mentor and he's full of potential. He gets delivered, cleans himself up and gets back on the right track. He also got married and had a bunch of kids. Life is good. He's still playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers and giving one hundred every day and he's not even from Pennsylvania. And, if you check the news, the Steelers didn't initially select him. Wait, what?
It was Dan Rooney who overruled Kevin Colbert and Bill Cowher on the draft pick. They wanted Shawn Andrews, an Arkansas guard. But it's a reminder that God always has the final say.
Ben went onto achieve a pretty awesome record:
Ben was born in Lima, Ohio and is a first-round draft pick from Miami University in Ohio in 2004. You would think that this young talented star had a bright future and that nothing would stop him. However, despite his awesome record and going to the Super Bowl three times, despite all that, why is there still all that backlash from the fans. But why if "You can get back up again."
I propose that two things were factors here.
The first, Roethlisberger (washed clean by Jesus), started shining a light publicly. In the same interview that we just mentioned, he says rather matter-of-factly,
"It’s cool to be a Christian and be an athlete. Go ahead and be the best athlete you can possibly be and see if you can be a better Christian. That’s what I’m trying to do now. I’m trying to be a better Christian than I am athlete and football player. I push myself to do that every day and it starts here (puts his hand on his Bible)."
So, the devil sees this and realizes, oh, Ben's NOT on his team! And, you know who else was not siding and on the devil's team? President Trump. And that's the second point.
Dr. Francis Myles gave a Jim Bakker interview in 2019. He saw a vision where witchcraft on the highest-level tested President Trump and wanted to bring him over to the dark side (Luke, I am your father...). The problem is Trump wouldn't budge.
#45 might be a baby Christian, but he holds God's mantle and was called by God. Don't believe it? Look at the 2016 inauguration date, Trump's birthday and all the prophecies that lined up. Hence, God already had a hold of him (all glory to Yah!). God was using him to help Christians, Jews and Israel. He's pro-life, pro-Jesus Christ and packs a rally better than anyone because he comes in the name of the Lord! And as many know from prophetic teachings, Trump is both David (underestimated) and Jehu (able to leap tall buildings and remove Jezebel demons). Who said Jehu? That was Pastor Mike Thompson.
Because Trump wouldn't cave into demonic pressure, the devil tried to discredit him instead. Now, look at how that parallels Big Ben's journey or any Christian for that matter.
Satan looks at your future and almost like C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters, he has a meeting. He says to his minions "This one will have the power to come against us one day, so let's try to block him now." So, they D-up on Trump like they D-up on us, and they D-up on Ben with all kinds of enticements. But again, there's Ben who walked away, cleaned up his act and started turning to God MORE. The next plan of attack? Similar to President Trump, attack his credibility.
Hence, when I saw the slander coming against this AFC pick, it made more sense!
Here's where it gets interesting and why the devil is so afraid of Ben, and President Trump, and me and you!
After the Steelers loss to the Chiefs in the AFC wild card round, Ben said,
"God has blessed me with the ability to throw a football and has blessed me to play in the greatest city, in Pittsburgh, with the greatest fans and the greatest football team and players. It has just truly been a blessing. I'm so thankful to Him for giving me this opportunity. I'm just so thankful."
Again, here's me interjecting because I can clearly see his light shining for God, right? But there's more, so much more to this bright and talented 39-year-old.
A Hollywood news site noted about the Ohioan,
"The Ben Roethlisberger foundation supports police and fire departments that employ service dogs. On top of that, Ben donated $100,000 to fund police dogs in Pittsburgh. Ben also donated a game’s paycheck to the relief efforts of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami." And then there's T.J. Watt who spoke to reporters about Ben's retirement and said there's a leadership void with him gone.
"You have a guy that was a constant voice in the locker room for 18 years and there’s obviously going to be some sort of void there and we need to fill it." But if all the haters are saying so much bad about Ben, how is it that the players seeing otherwise?
The list of charitable work, accomplishments and personal achievements is pretty lengthy. We're highlighting some to show how much value Ben offers and how big his heart is for others.
A few of Ben Roethlisberger's accomplishments include:
What an amazing man of God. He's such a talented and gifted young man, despite what they say about him.
In 2006, Ben survived a motorcycle accident where, helmetless, he went over the handlebars of his bike. By God's grace, he made a full recovery despite breaking both jaw bones, his nose and right sinus cavity. He had a nine-inch head laceration, lost two teeth and had several broken teeth.
Paramedics first on the scene said he also ruptured a major blood vessel and was seconds from dying - but God's grace was with him, and he returned to play for the Steelers the following year!
A lot of people don't know these things about Ben.
While the news centers on his retirement, Ben is focusing on healing and family. He's had battles with alcoholism and porn but by God's grace, he continues to build his faith in God to get through. And it's why I hear God saying to "Rebuke those demons and read your Bible more."
In a ManUp conference, the quarterback reflected, "Jesus brought me back to Him. I have great parents that are great Christian people…In middle school, I gave my life to Christ…I watched my parents."
Despite coming from a Christian family with parents who love God and go to church, life still happens. Temptations still come. He saw that in college and when he signed with the NFL.
Remember, he was at the Super Bowl at 23. The fame, sin, money and perks of being a celebrity put him on a path he didn't want to take.
"I’ve fallen as short as anybody. I’ve been addicted to alcohol. I’ve been addicted to pornography, which makes me then not the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian I can be. When I got to college, it wasn’t like, I stopped believing. But you just don’t sharpen your skills, because you were not reading your Bible. I’m still praying here and there. But I wasn’t a strong of a Christian in college as I wish I would have been.”
His loving wife, Ashley Harlan, also a Christian, made him jealous of her strong faith in God, even in college. He understood that celebrities, athletes and everyone in between are vulnerable to sin.
"People don’t realize all the time that us athletes, we’re human. We sin like everyone else, and I am no different. We make mistakes, we get addicted to things, we sin — we’re human. And I think sometimes we get [to] put on this pedestal where we can’t make mistakes; we do." Ben would later go on to get baptized and turn to his faith and his wife for support.
"I just felt that I needed to do that. I wanted to have a closer walk, a better relationship with Jesus, my wife, my kids, my family — become a better person." He says ultimately that "The person which brought me to Him was Jesus. Jesus was the one which brought me back to Him."
And here's where the antidote comes in from this powerful man of God whose Ben there, done that! Or, as we might entitle this with all glory to God, Ben There, Won That!
"Moreover, whom He did predestinate, THEM He also called: and whom He called, THEM He also justified: and whom He justified, THEM He also glorified," Romans 8:30
Roethlisberger explains that people can get out of addiction by dedicating themselves to God and Jesus. They also have to understand that they can only be truly free with the grace of God.
Ben sees how much he's changed over the years. He's a better man, Christian, father and husband because he has God’s forgiveness.
Noting that everyone makes mistakes and falls short, he says, "That’s okay." Like the Donnie McClurkin song lyric God made us highlight above "You can get back up again."
Ben says "You can get back into the good graces and all it takes is [to] ask…We don’t have to go and do a bunch of services and do all this — all we have to do is ask. If we ask for forgiveness, He’s gonna say, ‘okay,’ and that’s — how lucky are we."
Ben encourages others to prioritize their walks with God. And it's something God has been stressing through our own ministry, too.
God wants a relationship with us. He wants to help us get up. But it starts when we invite God in and put down the devices, idols, substances (demonic control) and ask God to help. We might feel like we can't go it alone and, in some cases, that's true. But we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and nothing is impossible with God.
While the haters only want to emphasize Ben's worst game highlights or his past or they might only mention the worst you and I have done, that's not God. God reminds us to "Stay in God's shadow" and pray for them to change and repent.
You see, those are hurting people who need Jesus. It's like that saying "Hurting people hurt people" but Jesus's love is here to heal and restore them. However, the devil is trying to use them by coming through a back door.
Maybe they let fear, anger, resentment, jealousy or envy in somewhere. Satan uses that so he can try to stop God's sons and daughters because ultimately the devil knows that WHEN God's sons and daughters rise up as one body, (Jesus's Bride, which is coming soon but not yet), then we will exercise our authority and ask God to remove the witches and demons from here.
It's happening right now:
Ask for God's Mercy: Why This Enemy is Coming in Like a Flood
THEY, as in God's enemies, the witches and all the demons, don't want to seek God first and they don't want us to, either. It's why Ben, President Trump and those in the Body ONLY got backlash when he started standing up for Jesus and drawing closer to God. And, I'm going to show you proof.
If you consider this Tower of Babel mindset, they are trying to make "self" and idol worship first. Social media, tech, the news. It's filled with fear, threats of wars and a Dark Winter, and then there's all the idol worship and demonic:
What God Wants Us To Do
When we did our 30-minute Ready to Launch in February messages, God said repeatedly that His storm is coming. He's about to move soon and God's wrath and judgment are coming against His enemies. God said "When I move, the demons and witches will flee." He's stressed that He wants the Body of Christ to do a few specific things:
Ben's touching story reminds us that you truly can overcome any struggle or battle and God will not fail you. But the only way to successfully do it is with Jesus and His love and by inviting God in first.
As John 8:36 states "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" and as Romans 12:10 states, "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another."
Another important passage is found in I John 4:18-21
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love Him, because He first loved us. If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also."
Let's remember it's not a crab pot mentality where we struggle and step over others to try to get to the top and compete to be first. No flesh can stand before God. We're to mirror Jesus's example, and what Ben taught us.
You CAN get back up again. Regardless of your past mistakes, it's not your fault. Keep getting to bed at 9:30 and getting up early to pray. Keep reading your Bible and drawing closer to God. Keep forgiving them and walking in Jesus's love.
As we shine our lights more, others will see that they can be forgiven, too. And, as you forgive, love, and pray God's mercy for THEM the way Christ taught us - they will see soon that they, too, can get back up again. For there is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. I also hear God saying "Tell them they don't have to worry or be afraid when they see what God does," "Don't look back when you see what He does," and "Keep coming out from among them, from among him, and her." Keep rebuking those demons in the name and blood of Jesus Christ and by God's authority.
To God be all the glory!
About the earlier video message above that we posted...
Ben Roethlisberger. Our Christian President Trump. Jesus... What's the world got against...oh, wait. That's right. The devil intentionally attacks Christians. FOUL ON THE PLAY! Keep shining light and rebuking those demons. And pray for every police officer.
Side Note: This video is 18:28 minutes. Psalm 18:28 states "For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness."