In 1977, Bev and I sensed a change coming to us, in our young marriage. We were earnest about following the call of God, wanting to serve Him. I believed that the Spirit was directing us to a boom town in Wyoming, a place I had visited many times as a little child. So we moved, with plans to plant a new church. We had no resources and knew that we would be 2000 miles from home and family. Some predicted disaster. “You have no money in the bank.” “You have no job, no position waiting.” But at the tender age of 22, our faith was simple, our hearts desiring only to serve Him.
That move turned out to be so much different from what we imagined. We never did plant that church, but we enjoyed rich ministry. In time we both realized that God was leading, but to grow us in grace. We also became pathfinders for several who followed us there whose lives were remarkably changed by their own faith journey.
We were only in Gillette, Wyoming for about a year, but those days were God’s graduate school of faith for Jerry and Bev. He taught us new ways to know Him, demonstrated His ability to meet our daily needs, gave us a miracle of healing when our infant son was desperately ill, and brought people into our lives that taught us key lessons that have shaped my ministry to this day.
We chose to do what some called ‘silly,’ what appeared to be impulsive, and that was very hard in so many ways. I have never regretted that year or the choices we made; thanking God that He gave us the willingness and faith to take the step of faith.
When the people of the Lord were preparing to enter Canaan, the Promised Land, the second time, they were confronted with an obstacle. They had to cross the Jordan River and it was ‘at flood stage.’ Joshua went to prayer and God told him to that he had to lead the people forward, that he was to send the priest, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, right into the flowing water. The account says “When their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will pile up there in one heap.” (Joshua 3:13, NLT)
Would you want to be the one who was first to step into a flooding river, carrying that weighty gold box containing the stone tablets with the Commandments etched on them on your shoulders? What did that priest think as he waded in? When did the miracle happen? When he was ankle deep, knee deep, waist deep? God could have just stopped the river’s flow that morning as they broke camp, giving them a wide place to walk across. He didn’t! He asked Joshua and the people to walk into the water by faith.
In our spiritual journey for His own purposes, life unfolds in much the same way so often. God says, “Go,” and the obstacles are there. As we look ahead, it seems that there is no way. But, when we are full of faith, prompt to follow, He makes a way. A thousand faith stories can be told about the discovery of new grace, new dimensions to our relationship with Him IF we step into the water, so to speak.
Is God leading you and it looks like a dead end, a fool’s errand, a path of hardship?
Are you following obediently or screaming protests?
Let me take an aside here. Do not confuse following God in faith with following your own desires and asking Him to bless your agenda. We serve Him. In His will, however, there is provision and peace. Paul says that the Spirit will change us, inside out, to think and act as He desires. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.” (Romans 12:2, NLT)
Has He asked you to step up to the challenge? Has He invited you to grow in grace, to learn of His love at a new depth? Do not fear, do not falter. Step out, in humility, and wait for the salvation of the Lord.
Follow faithfully. Keep your focus on the Lord who goes before you.
The word from the Word comes to us from the preacher Isaiah who invites us to sing a song of faith.
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
In that day you will say:
“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.” (Isaiah 12:2-5, NIV) Amen
God Will Make A Way (a simple song of trust, listen and worship)
God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way,
He works in ways we cannot see,
He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide,
Hold me closely to His side,
With love and strength
For each new day,
He will make a way, He will make a way.
By a roadway in the wilderness
He’ll lead me,
And rivers in the desert will I see.
Heaven and earth will fade
But His Word will still remain,
He will do something new today.
God Will Make A Way – Moen, Don © 1990 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (c/o Integrity Music, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 810055