I went to South Carolina with a mission, a dream. There was something bigger than me in this day. It was a dream. I was going to take a tour of Clemson’s new football operations facility and to hopefully get down on the field of Death Valley. I had tickets the next night to the Clemson/Tech game but alas, the driving downpour and very cold temps kept us from the game. The day before was glorious. 70 degrees and clear blue skies.
But before I headed down the road, there was a battle to fight.
The enemy came down hard on me the night before and that morning. Accusation. “You’re a loser”. “You have no business doing this”. Potential problems back at home at work came in hard upon me – “this isn’t going to go well”, “this situation at work will turn against you and you’ll fail”. It was an onslaught.
Friday morning, I headed out alone on this quest. I prayed hard on the way. Shed a tear or two. I prayed that Jimmy Evans prayer …
“In the name of Jesus, I don’t have fear. I’m not going to run from you. I’m taking my territory back from you right now. You’re standing on my promised land and I won’t rest until I have it back and you’re gone. I bind your voice. I bind your lies. I bind your influence and in their place, I pray for a spirit of love, of power, and of sound mind. God give me a spirit of love. I want to be motivated by love, power and your wisdom. I declare victory right now. The devil will not devour me. I’m the child of Almighty God. I’m invested with divine authority and wherever I go, you go with me Lord Jesus. Help me fulfill my perfect destiny in You. From today forward, when I hear that roar, I will run toward it and take authority over it and claim my promised land in Jesus name.”
I cranked that Elevation Worship song from the last post, “Do it Again”. God met me there on that beautiful country road. The enemy tried – my iPhone update glitched up my GPS and my maps weren’t working. I got lost five miles from Clemson. (You see, he doesn’t fight fair and he doesn’t let up). I turned around, saw a corvette and followed it. A block away, I saw an elderly gentleman at a tire store wearing a Clemson hat. Using old fashioned GPS, I rolled the window down, “Excuse me sir, can you tell me how to get to Clemson?” He smiled and said, “It’s three miles right down this road. You’re going to God’s country”. Amen.
I made it to my destination and met my host. He gave me a full tour. I saw it all – the locker room, the dining hall, the movie theater, practice fields, indoor practice field and Coach Swinney’s office. And he blessed me with a tour of Tiger Stadium – Death Valley – including getting to go on the field. Amazing.
The level of detail inside the Football operations facility is amazing. It is state of the art. College football is big business. I was amazed at the signs everywhere of encouragement and uplifting. I asked my host, “How much of all this is Coach Swinney?” And he said, “Every bit. Everything you see, he had a hand in. He knew exactly what he wanted it to be and how it was to look. Even down to these signs”. Coach Swinney had a vision. He had a Promised Land in mind and fighting the naysayers and the fear and the doubts, he pressed forward. He is all about family and building the complete man – athlete, husband, father, businessman. He’s living his dream. His dream is blessing a lot of young men, their families and all the employees that support that program.
Here is the cool thing. I left a book on Coach Swinney’s desk – The Barbarian Way – and in there, I wrote him a note saying “Coach, I love what you’re doing at Clemson. Love the focus on the complete man and equipping these young men for life beyond football. Clearly, you’re in your Promised Land”. And to my host, I knew his daughter had health issues and as I prayed about what to give him, John Eldredge’s new book, “All things New” – which is about God’s restoration of all things – a new heaven and a new earth. It’s a very hopeful book. And I wrote him a note saying that the word I’d received for him was “RESTORATION”. As our time was coming to an end, he told me his wife has MS and his daughter has MS and Autism. Indeed … the hope of RESTORATION is balm to this man’s soul.
My trip was a dream. It was also a divine mission. Little did I know. Little did I know that I’d talk about “Promised Land” in a note to Coach and then come to find out, he is living out his Promised Land. Little did I know that my new friend would have so many heavy things in his life and I’d hand him a book about RESTORATION. God had a purpose for me that day that was WAY beyond me. It was opposed. Of course it was. But God was Triumphant … as He … ALWAYS … is. Amen.