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You Have the Home Field Advantage
By Joel Osteen - Feb 18, 2011
When I was growing up, I was very involved in sports. My parents traveled a lot and couldn't attend all of my ball games. Of course, I always played hard, but when I knew my parents were in the stands, when I knew they were watching, it gave me an extra boost. Even though it was a "mental thing," it affected my physical performance. The same thing happens when a team has the home field advantage. They perform better because they know the crowd has confidence in them.

If you follow football, you know that the team who had the worst record to ever make it to the playoffs had the home field advantage. The crowd was going wild, and do you know they beat the world champions? It's amazing what you can accomplish when you know people are cheering you on and believing the best for you!

In the book of Hebrews, it talks about the great heroes of faith and the amazing things they accomplished for the kingdom—Moses, Abraham, David, Sarah, Ruth, Esther and many others. People who were known and people who were unknown. In chapter 11, it tells how they dared to believe, and God did incredible things through them. Then it goes on to say in chapter 12, "Since we are surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses, let us run our race." Notice this passage refers to our life as a race. And it paints the picture of this big stadium up in heaven. Now these saints of old, known as the great cloud of witnesses, are up in the stands looking down on us and cheering us on!

Understand today that you are not running your race alone; you've got all of heaven pulling for you. From the great saints of old to your loved ones that have gone to be with the Lord, the stands are filled with those who are pulling for you!

They're watching you and saying, "Keep going. Press through. Keep running. Don't give up. You may get tired, but get your second wind. We did it, and you can do it, too!"

Realize that you have home field advantage! In this stadium in the grandstands of heaven, you don't have any critics, nobody's throwing popcorn at you, and nobody's heckling you. No, these people are for you 100 percent! They think you're amazing. They know you've got what it takes. They're standing up right now cheering you on!

Imagine Moses calling your name and saying, "Go, go, go. You can accomplish your dreams." David is saying, "The giants may be big, but don't get discouraged. I defeated them; you can, too." Esther is calling your name saying, "You may be afraid, but do it anyway. You've been raised up for such a time as this." Gideon is saying, "You may feel weak and intimidated, but be strong and of good courage. The Lord your God is with you." All of the saints of old are pulling for you. By faith, you need to hear the roar of the crowd. By faith, you need to see them standing up, cheering you on! They're saying, "We did it without automobiles, without air-conditioning, without beautiful buildings, without technology, without computers or telephones. Think about what you can do. You can go further. You can accomplish your dreams. You can take new ground for the kingdom."

Let that truth sink down deep into your heart. Get a picture of the great cloud of witnesses cheering you on. When you realize that all of heaven is pulling for you, it does something on the inside. When you know this great cloud of witnesses is calling your name and cheering you on, it'll give you that boost to go further and accomplish more. Receive that strength and encouragement today and let it propel you forward into the victorious destiny He has prepared for you!
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