Friday, March 01, 2013

When God Calls an Audible

In football the huddle has become an integral part of team strategy, each player listening as the quarterback calls the next play. After breaking the huddle eleven players take their places on the line of scrimmage. The quarterback calls for the snap and the team attempts to move the ball towards the goal. If only God would use huddles for more of His play calling. Instead I find that He often waits until the just the right time at which point He chooses to call an audible.

Don’t get me wrong, God does often huddle with me during times of prayer or Bible reading. He uses those times to prepare me for serving according to His will. But I find that God’s play calling somehow seems to come up short, at least from my limited view point. It seems as if He only tells me what I need to know to line up correctly at the line of scrimmage. His huddles end with what we call the sign to “Check with Me,” a warning that He plans to call an audible. Of course when God calls an audible it’s a little different than those called by a human quarterback.

In football a quarterback calls an audible after his team is at the line of scrimmage. It is there that he looks at the opposing defense. If he sees something he can exploit he uses an audible to change to a play he believes will work better than the one called in the huddle. An audible is an adjustment, an opportunity for the quarterback to outwit the opposing defensive coordinator when the defense does something unexpected.

 God already knows what He will see when He gets to the line of scrimmage. There is nothing the enemy can do to surprise our Lord, whose game plan is guaranteed to bring victory. God does not audible in response to an unexpected circumstance. His audibles are tools used to accomplish a special goal when we get to the line of scrimmage. For the Lord the audible is not about outwitting. They are about fulfilling His plan for changing my life.

By telling me only part of His plan, God leaves me to exercise faith. I know that at some point when I check with Him, He will tell me the next step. He will not be late nor will He make a mistake as He directs the path I should take. In the process I learn to trust in Him, growing in my reliance upon one whose will is perfect. His audibles are designed to help me grow, preparing me for the future as learn to live up to the promise of His design.

And so while at times I wish God would call a play in our huddles, I take comfort as I approach the line of scrimmage knowing my Lord has plan. I know that when God calls and audible His children are guaranteed the victory.

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