In American football, a quarterback kneel, also called taking a knee, genuflect offense, or victory formation occurs when the quarterback immediately kneels to the ground, ending the play on contact, after receiving the snap. It is primarily used to run the clock down, either at the end of the first half or the game itself, in order to preserve a lead or a win. Although it generally results in a loss of a yard and uses up a down, it minimizes the risk of a fumble, which would give the other team a chance at recovering the ball.
Eighteen months ago Satan came for our staff team with a vengeance. Everywhere we turned it was as if the enemy was poised to destroy us with a fierceness I had never experienced or imagined. We watched as he swallowed up loved ones with sin, and then we watched as that sin ricocheted through other lives like a bullet tearing through flesh. He came after our children, he came after our family, he came after our friends, he came after our finances… I can vividly remember feeling like the punches were literal and not emotional. It physically hurt to move, to breathe. Staff meetings were filled with tears. There wasn’t one of us who didn’t weep in pain over the brokenness of lives and sin. It seemed like every phone call, every appointment was filled with pain. The team that I love and protect with my all that I have were stripped naked, exposed, and vulnerable. The war was fierce and the warriors were exhausted.
So we took a knee. We ended the play. We just stood still to run down the clock in order to preserve the lead. The win. The victory. We lost some yards, but we did not allow ourselves to fumble in our weakness. Through it all we knew who would eventually win the game, but in the heat of the battle we knelt to preserve the players.
True players hate stopping the game. Warriors were made to charge into battle and when one is held back to rest…well, frustration mounts… Someone who is trained to play the game would rather just play it out with all of the risks, but the best of us understand the value of taking a knee and letting the play end despite the desire to press on.
And in that time of waiting, the sweet, precious King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and VICTOR has been faithful. As we knelt, He sang over us, met us in our weakness, anointed us with peace, eventually gladness, and hope. He wiped the tears, waited patiently as we knelt. It was as if He was unconcerned that the game was still roaring around us. We were given leeway to wait. His Word was a balm to the wounds. His worship became the only soft spot to fall.
What we learned in kneeling became our greatest treasure. He is our SOURCE, our STRENGTH, and no weapon formed against us will prosper. NO WEAPON.
And now, after so many months of what seemed like an aching silence of despair, I hear a whisper in my spirit again…“Rise.”
It keeps getting louder and I know that the time is coming for a new season. A season where the mighty players who took a knee will stand up to finish what was started. To charge back into battle. To declare victory. To win.
Maybe you find yourself in a similar situation where you think that you need to take a knee….to end the play for a bit in order to eventually position yourself to win the game. Can I tell you that it’s OK? Not to quit, not to give up, but to posture yourself before the Lord in such a way that you demand His presence, His anointing, His infilling of the Holy Spirit in you. Fighting to fight isn’t always the answer. Stopping purposefully to lean into Him, to rely on Him, to allow the game to crash around you while you practice stillness before Him…that is where you will find the power to press on to victory.
Be still and know that HE is God!
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.