One thing that inspires me most about watching AFL is the extent that players put their body on the line for their team mates. The entire West Coast forward line genuinely celebrate each other’s wins because they understand that when one wins they all win.
Even when a player is in the middle of a form slump or having a particularly bad day at the office, it doesn’t diminish his joy at his team mate’s success. Instead, he continues the hard work behind the scenes and out of sight of the cameras by laying the hard tackles and putting his body on the line if it helps his team achieve ultimate success.
The Israelites also understood this principle of team success. God had already told them they would inherit the land, but there still lay a significant battle between the promise and the the procurement.
Although most of the land was yet to be conquered, the tribes of Gad and Reuben had already received their portion of land. Therefore Moses was particularly interested as to whether these men had caught the ‘team spirit’ that was critical to his nations future success, and he approached them with a question:
“Do you intend to stay here while your brothers go across and do all the fighting?” – Numbers 32:6 (NLT)
In other words, Moses was concerned that these tribes only cared for their own success and not the success of the nation.
They immediately replied: “We will arm ourselves and lead our fellow Israelites into battle until we have brought them safely to their land… We will not return to our homes until all the people of Israel have received their portions of land’ (32:16-18)
Much to Moses’ relief, these tribes weren’t only satisfied with their own success, but the success of God’s people as a whole. When one tribe wins, they all win!
Whether it’s a denomination, a diocese or departments within a church, it’s important that we find a ‘tribe’ to belong to. A tribe gives us a certain identity, culture and direction. But let’s never forget to put our ‘body on the line’ and work hard to see each other succeed, because when one wins, we all win!