by Wayne Dinsbeer, church Partnership Lead
My wife, Donna, and I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days at The Cove, Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, NC. It was such a great experience as we enjoyed the beauty of this amazing facility nestled in the grandeur of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
We love the mountains and have traveled to them regularly since we were married 48 years ago. We always have to get out and hike somewhere there is a trail. On one of our days with a few hours of free time we decided to take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mount Mitchell State Park. We had been on the parkway for not quite an hour when we came to gates closing the road ahead. It didn’t seem that cold for this to have happened, but there we were on the parkway with the road closed.
Donna is great at spotting hiking opportunities and at the turn around there were several trails leading who knows where? That was it, we had to get out and hike up the mountain trail to discover why the road was closed. It didn’t take us long to come upon icicles hanging off the rocks on the side of the trail as well as some on the trail. While it was very beautiful and picturesque, I am sure icee roads were why the road was closed.
We enjoyed what we could before returning to the Cove for the evening session.
Will Graham, Franklin’s son, was the featured speaker for these few days.He was teaching through I Samuel, which he had been doing three days at a time for eight years now twice a year. Many of the same people returned each time he was teaching to hear his continued thoughts on this Old Testament gem.
The theme of the lessons seemed to be the need for believers to make our decisions of life based on the faith and facts we find in God’s Word rather than the fears we have from all that surrounds us. Right now there are many fears that stem from the unknown about the Coronavirus – Covid 19. I have never seen the response of decisions being made due to the fear which is compounded by this vast and fast spreading virus.
There were many examples discussed in chapters 25-28 of I Samuel which became the key ingredients of the lessons. David showed great decision making based on his faith not his fear early on in his life from the time he steps forward to do battle with the giant Goliath to the time he carries Goliath’s sword as he goes to Gath, Goliath’s hometown. Certainly his faith allowed him to be victorious and overcome many situations which could have had different outcomes had he acted in fear.
Another key character which exhibited great faith in the decisions she made was Abigail, who is a type of Christ in the Old Testament. She had done no wrong, yet took on herself the wrong done by her foolish husband, Nabal, as she sought to redeem and save her husband and servants from David’s wrath and destruction. At a time when great fear could have caused her to retreat, she takes the initiative to bring David provisions and gifts as she begs his forgiveness and deliverance. Her faith in David to do the right thing toward her and her people because of his relationship to his God made all the difference in what and how she acted.
In the above example both David and Abigail use their faith to allow God to make recompense for the wrong foolish Nabal had done. At times when they could have rationalized taking vengeance on Nabal for the wrong he had done, they both acted in faith to do right in a difficult situation. The result, David did not commit a sin for killing Nabal, and received the supplies he and his army needed. Abigail saved her family and servants from David’s wrath. God strikes Nabal down dead a few days after. And David takes Abigail for his wife.
When we act in faith and make our decisions based on that faith we give God an opportunity to be glorified as He demonstrates His awesome power and love through the way He directs the situations in our lives. How many times has God delivered us from situations in ways which can only be described as “God Did It” moments in life.
It is at these time we realize His divine plan and will for us. This is how God desires and intends for His children to live – In Faith.
Unfortunately, too many times we allow the fears of this world to be our decision makers in our life. The world is full of “fears” which have the ability to rob us of so many joys in our life – Fears of Failure, Financial Stress, What others think, Making a mistake, Pleasure over Righteousness, Wrong decisions… and many more. All are tools of satan to distract us from doing what we know God wants and acting on our Faith to experience His victory in our life.
A Faith Life is so much more rewarding and joyous than a life based on Fear. So, how do we have the strength to make decisions based on Faith? Faith comes from the knowledge of God’s Word and the application of the principles in scripture. The more you know, the more you grow. Making faith based decisions in your life is a progressive thing. Start by reading the Bible and doing what the Holy Spirit leads you as He reveals the truths of the Word to you.
Much of our work with Here2THere Ministries is about assisting Pastors, Missionaries, Leaders, and Members to develop Strategies and Plans for their ministries based on the Faith in the Vision God has given them. Satan works extra hard to cause these spiritual leaders to be driven by their fears rather than their faith This “Fear” based leadership thwarts many good intentioned evangelical opportunities.
One of the greatest fears often used to keep the Lord’s work from flourishing is the “we’ve never done it that way before” fear. That one is often very difficult to get people from succumbing to. It takes leadership casting great vision based on their great faith in what God wants to be accomplished in the work. We work with leaders to discover, design, develop, and deploy others to Act in Faith in accomplishing their God given Vision.
I invite you to discover more about the work of Here2There Ministries at www.here2there.org.
Live your life based on the Faith in God and His Word, Not the Fears which Satan and this world throw at you. You’ll be happier as you experience His Joy in your life.