My family has enjoyed a long history with the Dallas Cowboys. I was a very young child when their legendary coach, Tom Landry, asked my father—then a young, 30-year-old preacher—to be the team’s first-ever chaplain.
So every now and then as I was growing up, Dad would take me along to some of their football games. I remember walking out onto that vast field at Texas Stadium. From ground level, the turf stretched out in all directions like an enormous green carpet, and the bleachers seemed to extend to the heavens. Mostly, though, I remember Coach Landry. He seemed a giant to me—his trademark fedora perched above kind, thoughtful, smiling eyes, exuding a quiet strength. Everyone honored him.
If anyone else personified Cowboys football, it was Roger Staubach, the quarterback who led the Boys to two Super Bowl championships in the 1970s. That was a little before my time, of course, but I still remember him and his friendship with Coach Landry. They were both Christians, and they appeared to be almost like father and son. But things weren’t always so close between them. Staubach admitted, as a player, he often bristled against submission to his coach’s leadership.
Despite his respect for Landry’s genius in football strategy, Staubach wanted the freedom to call his own plays on the field, to lead the team with his own approach. He thought he knew how best to run the Cowboys offense. His way.
Staubach finally came to the point where he realized he needed to decide. Would he rebel against his coach’s authority? Or would he get on board with the direction his coach wanted him to go? “I faced up to the issue of obedience,” Staubach later said. “Once I learned to obey, there was harmony, fulfillment, and victory.” Yes, lots of victories.
So there it is. The one word upon which freedom, fulfillment, and victory hinges for all of us.
Will we . . . Obey?
If it seems we’re starting this journey at the wrong end of the action plan, putting the obedience cart before the “hearing God” horse, let me just say what I’ve learned to be true. Facing up to this issue of obedience is the alpha and omega of how we hear from God. Obedience isn’t just one of the keys. It is the key that unlocks all of the blessings God intends for us.
To read more of Discerning the Voice of God, visit LifeWay.com/DiscerningTheVoiceofGod. There you’ll also find teaching videos and other resources from Priscilla Shirer.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psalms 32:8 KJV
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 14:21 KJV