Athlete, Here is Some Great Coaching


Athlete, Here is Some Great Coaching

Morris Michalski

Joshua 3:3-4 (NIV)

When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.

Have you ever wanted something badly and found yourself struggling to make it, find it, get there, get more? Was the longing deep and restlessness real? Were you desperate to arrive?

The people of Israel certainly found themselves feeling that way. They had been on a tiring, frustrating 40-year desert pilgrimage and hadn’t quite found their new home. They were almost there, but the last steps were crucial. 

It’s at this point that we pick up the story in Joshua 3:3-4. God Himself was giving His people coaching pointers on how to finish the journey, to complete what they started, to get what was promised. And Joshua was asked to deliver the coaching pointers to this nation.

He gave them a bunch of terrific ones. Here are the first three:

FIGHT FOR FOCUS. God told Joshua to place the ark of the covenant, the symbol of God’s presence, 1,000 yards in front of them. That’s 10 football fields, a par 10 golf hole, a long way off. 

Of all the things God used to lead His people to their Promised Land, He set a small moving target, the ark of His Presence and Promise, 1,000 yards in the distance and equipped the nation with no binoculars. That meant they really had to focus in order to see Him in the distance. 

Without following that distant marker all the way to the finish line, they’d never find their way home. There was no other way. There were no GPS systems. 

Same goes for us. God wants us to focus hard, squinting to see His presence before us. He must be spotted in the midst of everything else to be seen. 

We can’t take our eyes off Him or we’ll be lost and never make it to our promised destination. We can’t lose God in the crowd. Of all we see in life, that gaze matters most. Concentrated focus is crucial. 

SPACING MATTERS. God told the people to keep their distance from the ark, from Him. Why the separation? Is it because God wanted to be impersonal and perpetuate fear of Him? No! 

It was because He is the King of kings who loves and longs to lead His people. He can’t if He’s not placed out in front. It’s the way He coaches best and the way we need to play to win in life forever. 

As soon as we think we know where we’re going, we tend to turn off our GPS and run our own lives without Him. He wants us to always keep Him out in front. If we wanna win, it’s gotta be this way.

TIMING MATTERS. The people were also told to only move when the ark moves. That’s a call to great awareness, an attention to detail at high level. 

Sensing every small step God takes around us and every quiet prompt in us is the goal. This is the way He wants us to do life – when God moves, I move.

Most of the time, we want the opposite order. We make a move and want God to go with us, to bless the moves we make. While understandable, it doesn’t always work this way. 

Our role is to be led, to faithfully follow Him. God’s most courageous people live this way.

Reflect: How sharp and committed is your focus on the LORD? Is He a little too lost in the crowd of everything else? What distraction(s) need to be eliminated? What move can you make to get and keep Him out in front today?

A prayer to consider: LORD, of all the things I see, I would see Jesus, elevated and essential. That’s my highest focus. By the power of your Spirit living in me, help me to keep You ever before me, always following Your lead and never just asking You to bless mine. When You move, I must move. Amen.

Here’s a great verse to post and memorize: “I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” Psalm 16:8 (ESV).


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