Athlete, Imitate this Way
Exodus 40:36-38 (New International Version)
In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.
The most powerful moves we make in life require skill, timing, care and courage. Right? Isn’t this the sword we bring to battle if we want to win? Certainly all good athletes and coaches know this. So do great armies and generals.
As the God of the Bible was building a nation for Himself, He taught people this same way. He outlined exceptional construction, installed wise tempo, required high-level attention to detail and expected complete obedience. That brought great skill, timing, care and courage to their daily lives.
Notice these same accents embedded in today’s Scripture. And may this structure find its way into your heart.
EXCEPTIONAL BUILDING: God said He wanted to come near, to establish a home (a tabernacle) for Himself with people no matter where they went. Of all the things man should build, a special home for God was to be #1. It was to be a very special place, a place for worship.
He wanted a worship center of more than themselves to be at the core of how they lived. Man’s skill at the core was to be used for God’s glory. It’s the same way today.
WISE TEMPO: When the cloud moved, the nation moved. If it didn’t, they didn’t. The people let an all-wise God dictate the tempo for their daily living. They learned to spot His moves first, His play calls, and then set things in motion.
They didn’t live impulsively. They lived dependently, watchful and wise. They moved when God moved. It’s the same way today.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Sports magnate Nike has a production mantra that goes something like this: Engineered to the exact specifications of elite athletes. God had the first version long ago. He outlined exact specifications for elite living: what to build, how to build it, how to live, what to live for. (Check out the last few chapters of the book of Exodus and see for yourself.)
The Bible lays out a great template. (See Psalm 19:7-11) It’s the same way today.
LEARNED OBEDIENCE: God’s people learned what to do and when to do it. The Word of God and the Spirit of God saw to it. Complete obedience became the standard. Incomplete obedience is not obedience. It’s the same way today.
Reflect: Who gets the worship in your life? What kind of place have you built for God? Does He find a good home in you?
A prayer to consider: O Heavenly Father, thank You for Your commitment to produce high-level skill, good tempo, great care, and uncommon obedience in us. You can flat out coach! I see it in Jesus. Replicate it in me.
Help me build my life for Your great worship, to closely follow Your lead, to really care about all of what You do, and to be spiritually, morally courageous. By the power of Your Spirit alive in me, accomplish this please. I want this same way played out in me. Through Christ, Amen.