Stand Your Ground on God’s Plan!November 4, 2019
Greetings in Jesus’ precious name! As we celebrate a special time of thanksgiving this month, it is also a good time to ask God if we’re doing everything He has asked us to do with our lives. He has given us so much! And He is prepared to do even more in our lives as we yield ourselves to Him in obedience and service.
So I want to ask you: Are you on track to do what God has asked you to do with your life — your time, talent, and finances?
It takes real determination to accomplish anything God has asked you to do. You have to make a quality decision that you will never yield to discouragement or allow yourself to give up and quit. That’s vital if you are going to victoriously finish your race and accomplish what God has called you to do during your time on earth. That’s what I want to speak to you about today.
But first, I want to ask for your prayers. This month and next month, I will be traveling all over Russia to speak in conferences and churches. The distances are huge (Russia is almost twice the size of the United States) — and the strength required to do this is great. I am strong and capable, but I sense the need to ask for your supporting prayers of agreement for safe travel, strong physical reserves sustained throughout, and a precious anointing to be imparted to the people in every place I will be ministering. Will you please pray for me?
Today I want to encourage you to never give up! Let me begin with a true story from this journey that Denise and I have been on with our family and team for so many years as we’ve pursued God’s call.
After years of searching for a permanent home for the Moscow Good News Church, we finally found a building that would suit our needs — after complete reconstruction. I put the vision before our church and our partners, and we started to believe for the money needed to purchase and totally renovate the building.
I sensed that our situation was similar to the Israelites’ 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 true matter revolved around God’s faithfulness to perform His promises and our obedience to enter into and receive the promise He had given us.
We were stepping out by faith to do what was required to receive God’s supernatural blessing. Completing this mammoth vision far surpassed our natural abilities, yet we were certain this was God’s plan. So we fixed our eyes on Jesus, convinced He would supernaturally enable us to accomplish this mighty deed. With our eyes fixed solely on the prize, we all committed to doing whatever God asked us to do. We also set ourselves to keep moving forward and never to stop until we had reached the finish line.
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. I 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 that the same grace that was on us would also be on our partners and that God would supernaturally grace them to supernaturally give.
The Lord assured me that unusually large offerings would be given to help Denise and me establish this Gospel center in the heart of Russia so that this huge assignment would not be a burden. And as is always true regarding the heartfelt giving of God’s people, Heaven would keep records of every gift given, crediting those gifts to people’s heavenly accounts that await them there.
I have often reflected on God’s faithfulness as we ran that stage of our race of faith. He perfectly and completely fulfilled every single one of His promises to us. Although the challenges were enormous, 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 that part of our spiritual race and reached the finish line!
What race is God asking you to run in your own life? Has He given you an assignment that seems huge, gigantic, massive, and colossal to you? When you ponder what He is asking you to do and the ramifications of your obedience, do those thoughts rattle your emotions and make you inwardly shake? Or do your meditations before the Lord about the vision He’s planted in your heart ignite you and stir you up? Does it thrill you to know that God trusts you to believe Him for the impossible?
You have 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 very 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. He 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 to heed His voice and do what He is requiring of us.
God could choose anyone for the task or assignment He’s given you — but He has chosen you. So whatever He has given you to do, see it as the great honor it is that God would trust 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 Joshua that as he and the priests were obedient, the water would supernaturally part so that they and the rest of the Israelites could pass through on dry ground.
Imagine what Joshua must have felt. The 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 fixed on Joshua. 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 take 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 required one man’s courage and obedience to cause those waters to part — and because of Joshua’s willingness to do what God had commanded, all the Israelites passed into their land of promise. That shows the power of one person’s obedience.
Your obedience affects many lives! When you obey, it impacts many people and paves the way for others to inherit God’s promises as well.
I’m sure Joshua had to battle his thoughts and emotions, constantly refusing to give in to the feelings of trepidation that tried to overwhelm him as he followed those priests into the raging river. Had Joshua listened to the thoughts of fear and doubt 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 to do what God had instructed him to do. And in the moment Joshua committed to taking that step of obedience, he experienced the intervening, supernatural, history-making power of God!
Many believers simply stand on the banks of the river they need to cross and watch the raging waters flow by. But if they keep doing only that, they will never experience the power of God as Joshua did that day. If they want to “see the waters part,” they must be willing to rise up, step out, and do exactly what God is asking them to do.
And the same goes for you! When you finally act on that dream God has given you and step forward to do what He has asked of you, that is the moment you will see Him 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 — stepped out into the waters in front of us, trusting God to do His part. We had prayed about it, thought about it, and talked about it for years. Then God asked us to take action and obey. With man it was impossible, but with God, all things are possible (see Mark 10:27)!
Today this is true for you as well!
- Has God given you an assignment?
- Is He asking you to start a new business?
- Has He assigned you the task of reaching your unsaved family and friends?
- Do you sense that 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 larger financial giver in the Kingdom?
When you know it’s time to step out in faith, it’s up to you to take your eyes off the turbulent waters that rage before you and fix your eyes on Jesus Himself — the Author and Finisher of your faith (see Hebrews 12:2)! You can be sure that what He starts, He will always finish. When you obey God, your obedience activates His power on a scale far greater than you could have ever dreamed or imagined. But that kind of powerful demonstration belongs only to those who obey!
Denise and I know what it means to accept a faith assignment. We understand what you may be feeling as you step out in faith to obey something God has told you to do that seems impossible. We assure you that He will protect you and supernaturally provide everything you need to accomplish the task He is asking you to do.
In our case that I related earlier, God was depending on us to trust Him and to follow His instructions step by step on the way to purchasing and fully renovating the building that today so beautifully houses the Moscow Good News Church. Likewise, He wants you to do what He is telling you to do right now to take steps toward the fulfillment of your own assignment from Heaven.
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 as you commit yourself to His plan. It may seem as impossible as crossing the Jordan at flood stage. But His grace and power will infuse you, strengthen you, and guide you toward the goal as you keep your eyes fixed on Him and obey His voice every step of the way. And as you trust the Lord, He will bring you all the way to the finish line!
Just determine that from this day forward, you will do exactly as God instructs you to do. It’s that simple. That determined commitment to be obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading will cause His supernatural power to manifest in your life on many levels. I’m convinced that your obedience will trigger miracles in every area of your life — your family, relationships, health, finances, business — including the fulfillment of things you’ve sought for, prayed for, and desired to come to pass for many years.
Please let us pray with you for the wisdom and strength needed for you to cross over into the victory that God has waiting for you. Of course you can pray alone, but it often helps when others pray with us. We are here to pray for you, and we’d love to join our faith with yours for specific needs and dreams that are strong on your heart.
Thank you so much for letting me minister this word to you today. And thank you again for being such a friend and partner with this ministry! You are so vital to this work of God!
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families