What Race is God Asking You To Run?October 22, 2018
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
— Philippians 1:6
After years of searching for a permanent location for the Moscow Good News Church, our ministry finally found a facility that would suit our needs — that is, it would meet our needs after total reconstruction. I put the vision before our church to purchase it, and we started to believe for the funds needed to acquire it and then totally renovate it.
I likened our situation to the Israelites’ divine assignment to possess the Promised Land. Just as Joshua’s spies outlined the obstacles they encountered when they came back from scouting out the land, I didn’t hesitate to outline the challenges that lay before our congregation. I related the facts with clarity, but like Joshua and Caleb, I made it clear that God would give us victory over every obstacle or giant along the way. The issue was not how big the giants were; the matter revolved around God’s faithfulness to perform His promises and our obedience to enter into and receive the promise He had given us.
The fact is, what we were stepping out by faith to do required God’s supernatural blessing because completing this mammoth vision far surpassed our natural abilities. Yet we were certain this was God’s plan. Therefore, we fixed our eyes on Jesus, and we were fully convinced that He would supernaturally enable us to accomplish this mighty deed. Then we jumped in to run that race of faith. With our eyes fixed solely on the prize, we committed to do what God had asked us to do and to not stop until we had reached the finish line.
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This grand undertaking required every ounce of our faith, strength, and might. It demanded the highest level of faith for finances that Denise and I had ever released in our lives. It required our concentration and our intercession. However, we knew that God had watched us for years, and that He knew He could count on us or He wouldn’t have entrusted us with such a magnificent assignment.
I also knew that just as God entrusted Denise and me with the task of heading up this project, He had entrusted many faithful partners to contribute financially. God explicitly told me that people would generously help us — and that He would abundantly bless those who participated in the project. We knew the same grace that was on us would also be on our partners, and God would supernaturally grace them to supernaturally give.
The Lord assured me that unusually large gifts would be given to help Denise and me so that this huge assignment was not a burden. Gifts and offerings would be given to help us establish this Gospel center in the heart of Russia, and Heaven would keep records of every gift given. Those gifts would be credited to people’s heavenly accounts that await them there!
I have often reflected on God’s faithfulness to our ministry as we ran that race of faith. He perfectly and completely fulfilled every single one of His promises to us. Although the challenges were terrific, we accomplished the vision! When we are all in Heaven one day, the fabulous building that we now occupy in Moscow will still be filled with people worshiping Jesus. From the grandstands of Heaven, Denise and I — along with all those who financially gave — will rejoice that we didn’t shrink back from His command. With God’s grace, we ran the race and finished it!
What race is God asking you to run in your own life? Does it seem huge, gigantic, massive, and colossal to you? When you ponder what He is asking you to do and the ramifications of your obedience, does it rattle you, shake you, or make you shudder? Does it excite you, stir you up, stimulate you, and thrill you to know that God trusts you to believe Him for the impossible?
Each one of us has come too far to shrink back from God’s command now. It’s too late to turn around and run the other direction. As we near the last of the last days, there’s no place for fear or timidity. The time is short, and God is looking to each of us to fulfill His plan for these last generations. God is depending on you and me, and we must give our lives to do exactly what He is asking. There is nothing more important in life than heeding His voice and doing what He is requiring.
God could choose anyone, but He is choosing you. So whatever your task or assignment is, think about what an honor it is that God would use you to accomplish such a feat! You must push aside fear, reach deep inside to the anointing and power of God that resides within you, stand on His promises of provision and strength, and step forward by faith to see it done. You will never know what God can do unless you do something that gives Him the opportunity to show you!
As the children of Israel prepared to cross the Jordan River into their Promised Land, the river was at flood stage — its highest stage of the year. Yet God commanded Joshua to instruct the priests to step right into the river! God assured him that if he did, the water would supernaturally part so that he and the priests and the rest of the Israelites could pass through on dry ground.
Imagine what Joshua must have felt. People were watching him and the priests, looking to see if the water would part as their leader had promised. Every eye in Israel was peering at Joshua in speculation. But this wasn’t Joshua’s moment to shrink back in fear — it was his moment to obey!
Standing on the brink of the Jordan River with its dangerous waters rising higher and higher, Joshua obeyed God’s command, and the priests lifted their feet to make that first brave step into the raging, overflowing waters. As they obeyed, the waters parted just as God had promised. The Bible tells us, “And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” (Joshua 3:17)
It took one man’s courage and obedience for those waters to part — and because of Joshua’s willingness to obey, all the Israelites passed into their land of promise. That, my friend, shows the power of one person’s obedience. Your own obedience affects many lives! When you obey, it impacts many people and paves the way for others to inherit God’s promises as well.
This is not to say that obedience to God is always easy or without challenges. I’m sure Joshua had to fight his thoughts, battle his emotions, and constantly refuse to give in to the trepidation that tried to flood his mind as he followed those priests into the raging river. Had Joshua listened to those thoughts and emotions that certainly assaulted his mind, he never would have obeyed. Just as you and I must do, he pushed all of it out of the way and boldly stepped out. And in the moment Joshua committed to obey, he experienced the intervening, supernatural, historymaking power of God!
Those who stand on the banks and simply watch will never experience the power of God as Joshua did that day. If they want to see and experience God’s power, they must be willing to get up, get out, and do exactly what God is asking them to do.
Certainly, there will be a season for you to develop a dream or vision so it can take root in your heart. However, eventually a time will come when you must stop thinking about it and start taking action. If you don’t, your dream will remain in the realm of fantasy and imagination. But when you finally act on that dream and step forward to do what God has asked of you, that is the moment you will see God move into action and part the waters before you!
I’m so thankful that Denise and I — along with our staff, our church, and our partners — put our feet into the waters in front of us. We thought, prayed, planned, and talked about it for years. Then God asked us to take action and obey. He had given us assignments in the past that we obeyed, and we had experienced His power as a result. Because of our past obedience, we were equipped and prepared by Him for the greatest step we had ever taken to that point. How could we do anything else but obey Him this time? With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible (see Mark 10:27)!
Today this is true for you too!
- Has God given you an assignment?
- Is God asking you to start a new business?
- Has He assigned you the task of reaching your unsaved family and friends?
- Do you think God is calling you to pursue higher education?
- Is His Spirit calling you into the ministry?
- Do you feel the tug of God in your heart to become a bigger financial giver?
Accomplishing what God is asking of you may seem impossible to your natural mind, but it’s not impossible with Him! Whatever God is telling you to do, think it over and pray about it a lot ! Then there will come a moment — maybe that moment is now — when the time of thinking and preparing must stop and action must commence. God will one day speak to your heart and say, It’s time to get off the banks of the river and lift your feet to step into the waters. If you’ll do what I say, I assure you that you will see My power as never before!
If you know it’s time to step out in faith, you must take your eyes off the raging, turbulent waters before you and fix your eyes on Jesus Himself. He is the Author and Finisher of your faith (see Hebrews 12:2). You can be sure that what He starts, He will always finish. That’s why Paul said, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
The word “confident” is from the Greek word peitho, which means to be fully persuaded or fully convinced. Paul is literally saying, “I am fully and completely persuaded and convinced…that he which began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” The word “perform” is the Greek word epiteleoo, which is a compound of the words epi and telos. The word epi gives force to the word. The word telos describes something that is accomplished, culminated, or fulfilled. However, the way it is used in Greek, it emphatically means that God Himself will move you toward the goal, and He will not stop until you have reached the end.
That means God is with you at the beginning of your journey, in the middle of your adventure, and He will empower you to make it all the way to the finish line. You may not always feel like you’re an overcomer, but God’s grace is moving you — one step at a time — toward your land of promise!
Joshua’s obedience resulted in all of Israel passing over into their land of promise. And think how your willingness to obey will make the way clear for others to follow and to see, touch, and taste the power of God in their lives! When you obey God, it brings His power into play on a scale far greater than you could have ever dreamed or imagined. However, such power belongs only to those who obey.
- What is your life assignment?
- What is the step of faith you need to take to fulfill your own destiny?
- What promise awaits you on the other side of the river?
- What is stopping you from taking the next steps to get there?
- Is it time for you to stop just thinking and start acting on what God has given you to do?
Denise and I know what it means to accept a faith assignment; therefore, we understand what you may be feeling as you step out in faith to obey what God has told you to do. We assure you that God will protect you and supernaturally provide everything you need to accomplish the job He is asking you to do.
As Denise and I lifted our feet and stepped forward by faith to do this seemingly impossible task, we understood that it was our assignment and that God had long been preparing us for this moment. He was depending on us to obey. He is likewise depending on you to hear His voice and to do what He is telling you to do right now.
What race is God calling you to run? What river is He calling you to pass over? I deeply believe that God will empower you to do the most radical, supernatural thing you have ever done in your life. It may seem as impossible as crossing the Jordan at flood stage, but His grace and power will pick you up and carry you toward the goal, and He’ll bring you all the way to completion!
If that describes you, and if you do exactly as God instructs you to do, your obedience will “split open” the Spirit realm and bring the supernatural power of God into your life on many levels. I’m convinced that your obedience will trigger miracles in your own life and in your family, relationships, health, finances, and business — including the fulfillment of things you’ve sought, prayed for, and desired to come to pass for many years.
So I must ask you — what do you hear the Spirit of God asking you to do? Whatever it is, your obedience will result in a manifold blessing of His power to increase you in every area of your life and to make you a blessing to many others for generations to come!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I hear You beckoning me to step forward by faith, and I am inspired to do what You are telling me to do. I’ve been in a preparation season for a long time. I thank You that you are finally telling me its time to step forward, to put my feet into the river’s waters and to see Your supernatural power make a way for me to enter into the land You promised to me and that You’ve been speaking to me about. Thank You for having confidence in me. With the Holy Spirit living inside of me, the two of us together can challenge the impossible and do the unthinkable! By faith, I am stepping forward — and I thank You for carrying me toward the finish line and helping me complete what You have put into my heart!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I declare that the impossible is moving out the way for me. God has been preparing me a long time to do more than I’ve been doing. He has tested me, watched me, prepared me, and now it’s time for me to take the big leap of faith and move forward toward the goal He’s put in my heart. It’s a miracle, but He is carrying me toward the finish line and He will make sure I get all the way to the conclusion. I give God all the praise and glory, for He prepares me, empowers me, and carries me toward that place He has ordained for me to be!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- What impossible goals have you accomplished by the grace of God? As you look back over your life and think of the things you’ve done, what are those things that you never could have done on your own? Why don’t you take time to make a list and then thank God for His fulfilling power working in your life?
- What are the goals that are still directly ahead of you? Have you jumped in the race and decided that you’re going to pass over the raging waters that stand before you? Or are you struggling with the desire to shrink back in fear and timidity?
- Can you think of a single instance when God has not been faithful to you? Why don’t you take a few minutes to meditate on all the times God has taken you from where you were to where you needed to be?