First and Goal to Go

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:05 AM

The most important aspect of a football game is to reach a place called the goal line. This is the line that you must past in order to score any points. The whole point of the game is for one team to try and get the ball over the goal line more than the other.

Since that is the point of the game it works like this. The team with the ball in their hand works plans and does anything it can within the rules to get the ball over the line. The opposing team works, plans and does anything within the rules to keep the team with the ball from reaching the goal line. Thus there is the struggle.

I find the word goal line very interesting. Do you have one? I think everyone should have at least one and probably many more. The goal line in your life is simply a goal, something you wish to achieve. Something that once you reach it you can say I have accomplished that.

We are pretty good about setting goals at the beginning of the year. One’s like loosing weight, getting a new job, saving more money, spending more time with our family etc. One place I do not believe we are good at setting goals no matter what time of year is in our spiritual life.

Let me challenge you to stand before your God over the next couple of days and ask Him what it is that you could set out to do that would help make you closer to Him. In earnest prayer God will reveal to us areas where we need to improve. Most will be obvious to us, some may not.

***Word of warning, there will be a struggle involved.

Please allow me for a moment to use the game of football to better clarify the struggle we have and how to overcome it to reach our goal lines.

  • Make Plans: A football team does not simply go out on the day of the game and say hey lets get the ball over the goal line. They plan on how to do it. They spend all year designing plays that will help them get to the goal line. Coaches and teams watch hours of film in order to come up with the best plays that will fit their team. No stone is left unturned in an attempt to have the very best game plan.

If you are going to reach your goal first get a plan. For example if you want to attend worship more often, enlist someone who will go with you. Perhaps you want to read the Bible through in a year, find a reading plan that fits your schedule and follow it.

  • Practice: Each team puts its plan together and then goes to work. They go over and over the plays until the team knows them by heart. Eventually they could run the plays in their sleep. The best teams are the teams that practice with the best effort and focus knowing how important the game is.

In order for you to reach your goal you will have to put some things in practice. Practice is not always fun but it is always beneficial. Hard work behind the scenes in your quite moments of your life will pay off in the game of life. Just walking out and expecting your life to fall together and to reach the goals that God would have you to is foolish. Those people you see who are living out their life in a Godly fashion are doing a lot of work behind the scenes, you will need to as well. I have a saying I tell all the teams I have ever coached and it goes like this: You will play like you practice; the same is true of your spiritual life.

  • Expect opposition: A football team knows full well it is going to look eye to eye with people who do not want them to reach the goal line, opposition is expected. Be sure you know this, if you make a plan to achieve a spiritual goal you will find yourself up against stiff opposition. Satan no more wants you to reach your goal than he wants people to have a relationship with Christ. He hates you and does not desire for you to be more Christ like and he will do anything in his power to stop you short of your goal line.

Obstacles will come your way; you must be determined to follow through with the course God has set you on. If God has called you to do it then he will not leave you alone in the hands of the enemy which leads me to my next thought….

  • Use all of your Weapons: Some football teams are best at running the

ball over the goal line while others are best at throwing the ball over the goal line, few can do it all. Each team uses the weapons it has to the best of their ability. We are called to do the same. Use your Christian friends, tell them the course you have set and ask them to pray for you. Use the endless books on any given subject for resources. Use your church family as support, that is what they were put in your life for. Most of all use the Holy Spirit of God; in it you will find the power to overcome any obstacle.

  • Overcome Your Moments of Failure: No team gets the ball over the

Goal line each time they have the ball. As a matter of fact if they get the ball over just a few times they will have had a successful game. In your quest to reach your spiritual goal you will find days of failure, of discouragement, of depression and maybe even oppression by the opposition. Don’t quit, stay at it. Pick up the pieces of your failure, remember your plan, use your team and get back in the game. My father always told me, quitters never win and winners never quit. He did not tell me winners never have setbacks he just told me they never quit.

Take a few moments today before you sign off on this devotional and pray to God asking Him for guidance on how you can be more like him and then to lead you to a plan that will make it happen.

I know how it is in the game, I have lost a lot more than I have won but I know this the best feeling is knowing that I have given my best no matter what the outcome and I believe we should bring that same ‘giving my best effort’ to our spiritual life.

The best thing is this: Awaiting at the goal line is the Heavenly Father calling us home, waiting with great rewards and unfaltering love. Let that help you in your desire to be more like Him.

Scripture: Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brother, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer: Dear Father, who loves us, guide us into an area of life that needs to be more like you. Help us to be determined to make the changes in our life and humble enough to understand it must be done in your strength alone. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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