If you watched their last game against the mighty Chicago Bears, I think you would answer that question with a resounding "no". It didn't seem to matter which of our beloved Hawks touched the ball; no sooner had they turned to run and several angry men in black and orange jerseys were pummeling them into the hard turf. Can you imagine being the one with the ball? I don't like pain, and I think if I had to suit-up for the Seahawks on Sunday, I would be in big trouble. I am not fast. I am not elusive. I am slow and thoughtful. These are code words for "dead meat" in the NFL.
Now what if the Seahawks asked you to play running back. But instead of the Bears, Broncos, or Bengals, they were taking on your local 7th grade team? Would you do it then? If you had five 300-hundred pound giants clearing a bull-dozer sized hole in front of you, would you take the ball? I think most of us would! What changed? Did we change? No! Did our protection (offensive line) change? Nope. But the match-up changed. We suddenly found ourselves in a situation where the competition was no match for the incredible strength that goes before us.
I ran across a parallel idea in the Bible today that got me thinking. Yes- I often relate the Bible to football! In the Old Testament, the leader Moses is standing in front of the nation of Israel for the final time, encouraging them and offering some parting wisdom before he passes away. He tells them that they are about to enter the Promised Land, which at the time is filled with huge, angry men; kind of like the Chicago defense. But, Moses says, do not fear. Why? Because "the Lord your God will cross over ahead of you like a devouring fire to destroy them." (Deut. 9:3) The Israelites could run the ball and take the land with confidence because God would clear the way.
It's easy to be fearful in life. We look around us and feel overwhelmed by complexities, adversities, and discouragement. We're not sure which way to go and at any moment we worry that we will be over-run by opposition. Today, we can find hope and peace in the front line of our God. He goes before us like a consuming fire, in whose path no one can stand. The key, however, is that we follow after this Fire. It does us no good to claim allegiance to a God of power if we are content to go our own way and live according to our own designs. But when we follow behind him, when we recognize where he is leading and when we go quickly in that direction, we can have great confidence and peace in this world.
Where is God leading you? Where is His consuming fire opening a path and inviting you to follow His lead?
Journey on, my friend. Look to the Fire.