“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”-Hebrews 10:36
I had the opportunity to coach middle school football for a couple years. It was a wonderful experience mentoring and guiding young men in the sport I love so much.
I played all four years of high school, I wasn’t the best, but I also wasn’t one to give up easily. I would fight until I had no fight left, or until I felt something pop in my knee. I was a tiny lineman, but I loved playing the position and couldn’t imagine myself in any other spot.
One thing I learned, and taught the kids I coached, was the concept of getting to the next level. I worked with my defensive line to understand their role in pushing through the offensive line to get to the quarterback or running back.
Getting to the next level was essential to stopping the play early and had potential to set the tempo for the game going forward.
It’s the same way with our lives and our faith.
We have outside forces trying hard to run us over. They are trying to run harder and push through in order to show us that we can’t win and there’s nothing that can stop them from ending our potential.
The battle is real and the struggle to get to the next level is strenuous, but we have to push through the trials to progress in our journey.
So, what does it take to get to that next level and stop the enemy from running us over?
- EFFORT- We have to want it! The reality is, we cannot push to the next level if we don’t want to. We need to put work into building up strength. It is not our own strength we need, but God’s. We might need to be physically strong, but emotionally and spiritually, our strength needs to be found in the only One who can conquer the enemy. We need to put effort into studying scripture, prayer, and listening to the words from the pastor and internalizing the message to guide your steps. Effort is essential to moving forward.
- FOCUS- While playing defensive line I was always told to keep my head up. Lineman need to keep their heads up to see the person in front of them, but then they move their eyes to the quarterback or running back to find the ball. We can’t run towards something if we have no idea where we’re headed. The enemy may attempt to throw off our game, but when our focus is on Christ, then we will be able to see where He wants us to go and the distractions won’t disrupt our progression.
- CONFLICT- The conflict is going to be heavy with ourselves. We will be battling our humanity in the process. Our humanity tells us, “There’s nothing left. Give up!” However, our spiritual self that we gain through our faith in Christ will be saying, “Hold on! God is with you! Persevere!” Conflict is healthy, but we cannot allow ourselves to be in this battle alone. God is with us, but we also need some believing friends to join us in our battle. We need to search for the right people to pray and seek wisdom with us. When we start to push through our struggle, we will experience conflict, but we need to remember who we are created to be in Christ. That freedom will help us handle our internal conflict from the perspective of a redeemed child of God.
We have all heard the saying, “It’s not how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up!”That is a true statement, but for a believer, we might get knocked down, but are we depending on God to help us get back up or ourselves?
May we find peace in our trial. May we find our focus and get to the place Christ desires us to be. May we put the effort into growing as an individual and push through the conflict in order to reach our next level.
Peace and blessings friends.
Question: What have you done to push to the next level?