I don’t know a lot about sports. The only sports I played in school were basketball (and I use the term “played” loosely), I ran track, and we had one powder-puff football game that I participated in.
First come the practices of the fundamentals of the game. In basketball you had to learn to dribble and run (and crazy enough, they wanted you to do these two things at the same time!), you had to learn how to pass the ball properly, and shoot it into that very small hoop. In football you had to learn to catch, pass, kick, and run with the ball. In track you had to learn about proper running form and how to pass a baton while running in a relay.
Then you are given the play book which showed the position you should be in for every play. In track the only “play” you practiced was the hand-off of the baton from one runner to the other, but positioning was very important.
I was terrible at basketball. I was completely lacking in confidence, and I was literally afraid of the other players – the aggressive opponents as well as my highly competitive teammates. I couldn’t bear the looks from them when I messed up. So I very gladly took my position on the bench for almost every game, happy to be a part of the team while having no real part in a win or a loss.
I was good at football. But alas, there was only one game to display my skills. Shyness gone and no one to fear, I enjoyed the game. But my success in the football game primarily came from the fact that I could run. Track was my sport.
As a team member who had become highly competitive myself, it was the most frustrating thing for a fellow teammate upon which my success depended to be out of position. In track, if they couldn’t hand the baton off to me as I started to run, I would have to slow down to get it. This of course, delayed my arrival at the finish line. Grrrrrr. For the basketball and football players, one player out of position changes the play dramatically. I can only imagine how the coach feels after carefully orchestrating each play, drilling the team members repeatedly through the motions, only to see the missed opportunity when one is out of position.
In this life, we have an Owner, Manager, and Coach that has given us a perfect playbook. He sees the beginning to the end, knows every move we need to make, promises to never leave us, and has victory secured if we follow His plan. So are we in position??
There is nothing more miserable than being in the wrong position in the game. That’s where I was last year. So I began to ask God to show me where I needed to be. The first position He said to take: “Be still” (Psalm 46:10). What?? In my hurry-scurry world, with so very much to do, how can I be still? This had to be a conscious effort, to make my mind and body slow down. The next part of that verse says “and know – recognize and understand – that I am God.” I’ve struggled many times in my relationship with God because I wouldn’t get still enough for Him to reveal Himself to me.
We must get still, learn to recognize and understand that He is God. When we put ourselves in this position, meditate on our God who is Almighty, how do our problems compare? Being still changes our perspective.
The next position He revealed: “Stand still” (2 Chronicles 20:17). Jehoshaphat had just gotten word that there were 3 armies coming against him. He got still and “set himself to seek the Lord” (v.3). He got still so that he could remember who his God is and hear how to get in position. God didn’t remove the problem, He didn’t stop the armies, but He told him “Be not afraid…the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v. 15). Then He says “…take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord Who is with you…”(v.17). Those armies that came against them? They slaughtered each other!!
We have to take a stand of faith. BELIEVE GOD. His plans are to give us “hope in our final outcome” (Jeremiah 29:11)! He can do more when we stand still in faith than we can ever accomplish on our own, and certainly more than when we are willing to just sit on the bench! Let’s get in position and practice the very presence of our loving Heavenly Father. He’s waiting to lead us to victory!!