Position Provision & Promise (An American Football Analogy)


Me: Hey God, where is the provision you promised?
God: It's where you ought to be.

We can learn a lot from sports, let's take a look at the game of football to better understand  promise, provision, and position. In case you're not familiar with Football terms and titles I've added a few definitions below. 

wide re·ceiv·er:

  1. an offensive player who is positioned at a distance from the end and is used primarily as a pass receiver. THE PERSON WHO CATCHES THE BALL.


  1. a player positioned behind the center who directs a team's offensive play. THE PERSON WHO THROWS THE BALL. 

A route is a pattern or path that a receiver in American football runs to get open for a forward pass.

I love football, when I was a kid I played street football with my neighbors often, one of which I married over 15 years later. 
As I got older and learned more about the sport I was surprised to find that plays in professional football were entirely different from the glorious plays we put together on Blair Avenue in the Bronx.

You see, in street ball when I played the position of wide receiver, I ran aimlessly, staring back at the quarterback the entire time, while simultaneously waving my hands and screaming "I'm open, I'm open!" although majority of the time I was not "open" at all. "Open" means free from defenders and in position to catch the football. 

Well, the first major difference is that in professional football the players actually study. Yes study! Players study "Play books" which consist of "Routes" which tell each player exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it in order to execute a particular play.

Wide receivers study their routes relentlessly, so that when the play gets called in a live game they know what to do.

And what do they do? Well they certainly do not run aimlessly, staring back at the QB, yelling "I'm open! I'm open!". Instead they run straight ahead with precision, never looking back at the QB or anyone for that matter, but focus on running their route swiftly, and confidently, fully persuaded that when they arrive at the end of their route the football will meet them there. Whether they are open or not.

(Wide receivers often catch the football with defenders breathing down their neck, because the wide receivers job isn't to worry about the defender but to trust the QB to put the ball where it needs to be.)

This kind of execution requires faith. The wide receiver runs the route with complete faith in the QB to deliver the ball in the appointed time previously studied in the "play book".
The "playbook" made a promise to the wide receiver, it said if/when you are in position the QB will provide you the ball.  

In our lives God calls the plays. Our playbook is the bible. The bible gives us the routes to run in order to obtain the provision, and promises therein. 

Remember this? -Wide receivers study their routes relentlessly, so that when the play gets called in a live game they know what to do.
Christians ought to study the bible relentlessly, so that when things happen in life we know what to do. 

Does your prayer life resemble my street ball days? Or does it reflect the faith of professional athletes? Are you running one way, looking another, waving your arms at God yelling "I'm open! I'm open!"? Or are you fully persuaded, praying, and living your life in a way that expresses your faith in God to provide the promise in the appointed time?

(Another interesting thing is this. A particular wide receiver may run 10 routes in a game before the ball is thrown to him. He needs to run each time with the same veracity, and tenacity because he nevers know which play will be the one.)

Don't worry, don't fret, just Go! And once you've gone, keep going. Run hard for the Lord and trust Him. The promise is already there, where are you? 

Hebrews 18:11
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

Romans 4:20-21

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.