Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Lesson In Football


               I’m a huge football fan; it is my favorite sport to watch and to play. During football season you can find me in front of a TV every Saturday and Sunday- watching college and NFL. I do not watch any other sports just football. The other day as I was watching my favorite team play a pre-season game, I was reminded of the leading of the Lord in our lives. The Lord God gives us His Holy Spirit to lead us, to guide us to say to us, “this is the way, walk in it.” As His children, we are to be obedient to this leading, to the Holy Spirit directing our way. As I pondered on what the Lord was telling me, I was encouraged, but soon forgot what He spoke to me because I got caught up in celebrating a touchdown.
                This morning, He reminded me of the picture that He gave me, and the words that He was trying to tell me, even though my attention was elsewhere. So, I opened up my bible and followed His leading this morning. Psalm 37:23-24 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.”
                You may be wondering what this scripture has to do with football, and if you bear with me, I will explain the picture in my head. To run the ball you have to have good blockers, someone to lead the way through the defensive line, opening up a whole for the running back to go through. The running back is lined up behind the full back. The fullback is someone who is bigger and stronger than the running back. The fullback’s job is to make a way for the running back. He goes before the running back; blocking and making a whole through the defense.
                Every running back knows to follow their full back, or their lead blockers. They may get hit or tackled, but the goal is right ahead and they run straight for it. The running back never stops moving his legs until he and the ball are on the ground and the whistle blows. They keep pushing through until they break through. Sometimes, they only get a few yards, but they get back up again and keep trying.
                Just as the fullback breaks through the line for his running back, so does God break through for us. God is our quarterback, calling the plays for us to run. The Holy Spirit is our full back, leading us through the way the Lord God has told us to go. The quarterback sees the defense and how they are lined up, he calls the plays based off of what he sees. The running back and the fullback do not always know what the defense is going to do, but the quarterback does. Just as God sees the way life has lined up against us, trying to keep us from reaching our goal, He calls the plays, passes the ball to us and the Holy Spirit makes a way for us, all we have to do is follow Him.
                Now, every running back knows he has to trust his blockers. If he doesn’t, he ends up getting hit pretty hard and falls to the ground. Just as the running back trusts his blockers that they won’t let him be utterly cast down, we too are to trust God, our quarterback, and His Holy Spirit, our full back. He will not let anything happen to us, He will give us what we need to break through the defense of life and into the end zone of victory with Him forevermore.
                No running back is perfect, and we should not expect to be either. We, just like a running back, are going to make bad decisions and wrong turns and we are going to get tackled. But God promises us in His word that we “shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds {us} with His hand.” (vs. 24) Our steps are ordered, the Lord has called the plays for us, but sometimes we will decide on our own, that this way is better and we will fall, we will sin. But even as the full back helps the running back off the ground, the Lord God extends His hand and pulls us up too. He fixes our uniform and helps us get back into the game.
                “The wise man is not perfect- he may fall in the way. But God guides and protects him even when he sins and encounters obstacles.” (Reformation Study Bible) We are going to fall, we are going to sin, we are not always going to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and we are going to get tackled. But we have a promise from God, our quarterback, that it’s okay. He knows before we do how the play is going to pan out. He just asks that we trust Him and follow His lead. He will block for us, He will make a way for us, and when we fall, He will be there to pick us up and hand the ball of life to us again, until we reach the goal, the true championship- eternity with Him.
                No matter where you are at today, whether you be waiting for the Lord God to hand you the ball or you are trying to break through the defense before you, trust the Lord God to lead you through by His Holy Spirit, and if you fall, get back up again, dust yourself off, fix your uniform and line up for the next play. We do not give up because He never gives up on us. You are on God’s team, He has you right where you are, and wants you to trust Him and get out there and play some ball!
                May the Lord God show you the way in which you should go. May we all take the ball of life that He has given us and run behind the Holy Spirit, trusting Him to lead us through the blockers that stand before us, leading us and guiding us to the goal line, which is eternal life with Him, forever and ever. Amen and Amen.