©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
The view was much different from up high.
Recently, a good friend asked my husband and me to join her and her husband in their football suite. While we do have season tickets, ours are closer to the field in the regular stands.
Looking at the field from that elevated post, I was amazed at how well we could easily see the best ways the players could gain ground and move forward toward the goal line.
From that view, it was easy to spot obstacles in certain areas and open paths in others. Our perspective was obviously much broader than the players on the field.
“Noooooo.” “Don’t go THAT way.” “Can’t you see that?” I shouted at different times when a player started running into an area where I could see opposition forming. The clear path was obvious to me from my overhead perch, but they sometimes seemed oblivious. On the field, they didn’t have the same sightline I did.
I wonder if that’s what God thinks sometimes.
He’s whispering (sometimes shouting) in our minds and hearts “Don’t go that way;” “Watch out;” or “Look for the path I prepared.”
He’s telling us to dodge evil, slip a Satanic tackle, twist away from the opposition trying to flip us and throw us down. And, yet, it’s often hard for us to see how to move forward from where we are on the playing field of life.
Our perspective is not God’s.
That’s why we need to be familiar with the playbook and disciplined in our responses.
Despite how loudly I yelled or how much advice I gave from the box – even with its windows open, those players couldn’t hear my calls. We weren’t linked with a direct connection.
But, on the field of life, we can hear God’s calls through the Holy Spirit moving in us, and through the Word He’s provided to us! And, through preparation and discipline we can make the right choices to move forward.
Let’s look at these seven strategies on how to navigate the field of life with power and purpose as we head to the goal line:
TRUST IN THE LORD
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
KNOW THE PURPOSE
The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. Isaiah 26: 6-8 NIV
FOLLOW THE LEADER
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 NIV
SEEK THE RIGHT PATH
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
FACE DIFFICULTIES WITH CONFIDENCE
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV
RUN WITH CONVICTION
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 NIV
CELEBRATE WITH JOY
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. Acts 2:26-28 NIV
- What sports team do you most enjoy? How about Olympic competitions?
- Think of a time when you felt your perspective gave you insight someone else didn’t have? Parenting? Mentoring? Teaching?
- When is a time you took a wrong path in life or struggled to move forward? What helped you?
- What about a time when you absolutely knew you were running strong in the path God had for you? How did you feel?
- Which verse here speaks most to where you are on the field of life now?
- What steps can you take to better see the path God desires for you and move forward?
A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:2-5 NIV
Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™