“And they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it.” Genesis 37:24
A couple of years ago I became curious about what it took for a professional basketball team to become repeat champions. I researched professional basketball champions over the last thirty years to find out what characteristics it took to make a repeat champion. I discovered from my research that teams who won multiple championships had players and coaches that understood their position on the team. Each player knew what his main responsibility and role was in making their team champions. They made a commitment as a unified team that everyone was going to play his position at a high level every game.
They decided to put the team above the individual. This took major dedication from each player to give up his personal success for the team. This kind of dedication and commitment took a major adjustment in their thinking. For some players it took a transformation in how they approached and played each game. The players from repeat championship teams understood that when the team wins everyone wins. I learned from my study of these multiple championship teams that there were seven key positions (point guard, shooting guard, power forward, small forward, center, sixth man and coach) that must be performed in every game with excellence.
The more I studied these teams the more I became enamored with their approach to winning. What I loved about these teams is that not one player got outside of their position of purpose. If he did, he was quickly reminded that their ultimate mission was to win a championship. Each player over time learned to play within his purpose on the team. In other words the point guard didn’t try to be the center nor did the center try to do what the point guard was purposed to do.
I realized that when everyone knows and understands their position and performs it at their best they can achieve great results. The results for these basketball teams were championships. They became great teams that will always be labeled as great champions. From studying these repeat champions, I began to see in my life that if I focus on my purpose and live according to the way God has designed me, then I can achieve success His way. I have come to realize that my purpose is not just about me, but it is for everyone that God has connected to me.
Joseph was an excellent example of an individual who understood his purpose even in the midst of very difficult situations. His dream God gave him in Genesis 37 of ruling over his brothers and father caused him a great deal of turmoil. He did not allow any of the situations that he encountered dissuade him from living his purpose. When he was thrown in the pit, he kept looking up. As a slave in Potiphar’s house, his character stood out and positioned him for greatness.
When Potiphar’s wife made repeated sexual advances towards him, he remained committed to his purpose. When he was thrown in prison, he consistently lived his purpose and found favor with the warden, guards and inmates. When the butler forgot him and he was left in prison for two more years, his confidence in his purpose did not fail. When Joseph stood before Pharaoh to interpret his dream, he stood boldly and communicated the purpose for Pharaoh’s dreams.
His courage to stand before the king without fear to interpret his dream opened the door for him to be promoted to Prime Minister of Egypt. Throughout Joseph’s life, he displayed a concentrated effort that kept him in tune to God’s purpose in spite of his current situations.
After studying the key positions on repeat basketball championship teams and the life of Joseph, I realized seven key positions of purpose for life. I matched the seven key positions of a repeat championship basketball team with the seven key positions of purpose for life and here are my results.
1. Coach – Communicates the organization’s vision to the team. You must effectively communicate your purpose to those that are connected to you through verbal and nonverbal actions.
2. Point Guard – Concentrates on leading the team on the court. You must remain concentrated (focused) so that you direct your thoughts, attention and actions towards your desired purpose.
3. Shooting Guard – Consistently needs to hit key shots. You must be consistent by having a reliable, dependable and coherent approach to daily living that aligns yourself with your purpose.
4. Power Forward – Courage to be the physical player that gives up his body. You must have courage to stand when everyone else wants to run and to act when everyone is paralyzed by fear.
5. Small Forward – Confidence to guard the opponent’s best player. You must have the confidence and reliance in the abilities and gifts that God has entrusted you with to accomplish your purpose.
6. Center – Character to be the strong force in the middle. Your character is who you are when no one is looking and what you are willing to stand for when everyone is looking.
7. 6th Man – Commitment to coming off the bench. You must make a commitment between your heart, mind and emotions that moves you on a direct course of action in pursuing your purpose.
I know that there are more positions to your purpose, but I believe after intense prayer and study that these seven are vitally important in fulfilling your God given purpose. Notice I said God given purpose and not man or self-given. I believe if you apply these seven positions of purpose are applied in your daily life then you will see your purpose prosper and your life excel.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr