The Game Plan
“Now Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites—no one leaving or entering. The LORD said to Joshua, ‘Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its fighting men over to you. March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram's-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the trumpets. When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the people will advance, each man straight ahead.’” - Joshua 6:1-5
In all my years of watching sports I’ve seen quite a few game plans. There have been trick plays, last-minutes heroics and the tremendous execution of skills in amazing victories.
In the Old Testament, we read a fascinating story about a man who was given a most interesting game plan from the Lord. As the Israelites entered the land flowing with milk and honey, their leader, Joshua, was confronted by the commander of the Lord’s Army. This commander issued a game plan for Joshua and his troops to take over Jericho. Joshua listened intently and reported his plan back to his troops. That report might have gone something like this…”OK, I’ve been told that we are to march around the city walls once a day for six days, and then, on the seventh day, go around seven times, blow our horns, and then yell. If we do that, the walls will fall down. Got it? Ready…Break!”
I’m not sure, but I would imagine there were probably some people wondering if that plan would succeed. Walk, blow, yell, win? Riiiight.
When you read the full story, you find that Joshua and his people did exactly as they were told and were granted victory. But what if they would have failed to follow their instructions? We don’t know what would have happened to the Israelites, but we see some possible similar scenarios in sports today. Very often, the teams that fail to follow their plans wind up losing.
In sports, following a game plan perfectly doesn’t always guarantee a victory, but it often helps a team perform at its best. That’s a great picture for God’s plan for our lives in general. We are to follow His Word and fully obey His commands. His ways are perfect; our ways are not. Only He knows what the future holds. By trusting in Him, just as Joshua did, we will be guided to a better tomorrow if we truly believe and have faith.
1. What has been the best game plan you’ve ever seen in sports? What was the team’s outcome?
2. Do you have a hard time following God’s game plan for your life? Do you even know what His plan is for you?
3. What can you do today to take Him at His Word and follow His instructions?