This week I'd like to take a different approach. Don't worry... I have a reason for it. Instead of preaching on a topic in the Bible I'd like to share what God has been doing in my life. Some of you know that Sarah (my wife) and I were born in the same town in Northern Indiana and both our families still reside in this town. Leaving this place was something we both eventually wanted to do, so when God presented the opportunity we jumped. Maybe not at first, but after some God moments we both knew this was the time to go. Where and what we were going to do, we were unsure.
So we moved. We found a place to live, started at a job I thought would be a great way to eventually bring along an adventure ministry kinda thing, and got started trying to figure out the lay of the land. 2 months after relocating and starting the job, I get another tap on the shoulder from the big man upstairs. He kindly brought me to my knees and let me know that this wasn't the way he wanted me to do it. So, I quit my job and started Fully Packed Adventure Ministries. YIKES! Total leap of faith now. Before it was 3/4. Now it was 100% all in. I thought we were living by faith when we moved, but now I know we are totally living by faith.
This brings me to the reason I'm telling you this. You see... the word FAITH is 1 of 3 tattoos on my left arm. I know! I have multiple tattoos up and down my left arm. For some reading this, tattoos are not an issue, but to others I'm sure you have an opinion. This is a subject for another day.
Back to the tattoo. The tattoo is a reminder to remain faithful to God my creator, my author, and my comforter. God has a plan for all of us. A plan for us to bring people the Word of God thus bringing Him glory and furthering His kingdom. Our job is to remain faithful, listen to his guidance, and carry out His plan for our lives according to how he wants us to do it. But, he doesn't promise us a bed of roses. There will be bumps along the way. We just have to remain faithful to His plan as we carry it out - don't deviate.
I love this passage in Acts 14 from Paul and Barnabas as they're traveling from city to city preaching the word of God:
“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God..."
Boy, let me tell you! They went through more hardships than any Christian I know. This passage really speaks to me and my family concerning the past year. We've gone through many hardships (leaving home, family, solid jobs, etc.), but when we live outside of our comfort zone is where we really meet God. We have to live completely faithful to him. We have to rely on Him daily for his guidance and strength. Although there has been hardship, I know 1 thing is true - God ordained it, God directed it, and God will continue to lead us through the hard times and the good.
We kept the boat afloat for the year and this next year is packed full (no pun intended) of great opportunities. God positioned us correctly and gave us a great community of people to help. Faith has led us this far, now we have to start acting on what God has prepared for us. Read what happens to Paul prior to the Acts 14:22
Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.
We haven't given up on our community back home. We left in order to meet new people and strengthen / encourage them to remain true to their faith and let me tell you... today more so than yesterday people need to hear this. Doubt is starting to creep in around the world with brothers and sisters walking in faith.
Much like Paul, we are here to pick ourselves up and keep fighting the good fight. We hope you'll continue fighting with us. We need great men and women faithful in their walk's with the Lord to continue strengthening and encouraging the people God is sending our way. His mission isn't complete, His commands are for all who believe, so lets fight together. Let's rise up and bring the Word of God to the people!
Thanks and God Bless!
PC: David Wildman - Me, Sarah, and Fiona exploring the great outdoors of Greenville, SC