Thursday, June 6, 2019
Deuteronomy 8:3 …man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
I want to tell you a story of a church that impressed me with their faith. They modeled the great truth of Deuteronomy 8:3 which says that, “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” They learned to fully and completely trust God for their future ministry needs while obeying the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit to meet the needs of others.
This church was in need of renovation because of its inaccessibility to older people and the handicapped. It had asbestos in it, and it did not meet any of the current building codes for people with disabilities. The congregation of this church had grown to the point where the facility no longer had enough room for all the Christian Education ministries in place. The sanctuary reached the 80% full level which became a discouragement to new people attending. Because of their landlocked location, they had no room for expansion on their current site without the purchase and removal of additional homes in the neighborhood.
To alleviate these problems, the church started a major fund-raising effort based on a foundation of prayer. The people of this church were praying for God to show them how much they could sacrifice of their current resources for the building of a new building that would become a ministry center to their city. On a scheduled day of discovery they were to give their generous gifts so that as a congregation they could determine a direction to proceed in their building plans. The expectation was for a miraculous amount that was far beyond anyone’s expectations.
God interrupted this church’s plans with a word from His heart. This church had seen the terrible destruction in the south from Hurricane Katrina and had realized that the Body of Christ in that area was suffering and unable to function as it should to meet the needs of its own community. So, this upper Midwestern church adopted a sister church in the storm-ravaged area, and decided to surrender to God as much of their building fund offering as necessary to bring new life to that hurting congregation.
Wouldn’t you love to be a part of a church that not only listens to the voice of God but also obeys the word of the Lord no matter what kind of an inconvenience or hardship it seemingly creates? Isn’t it refreshing to know that there are people who have learned to live in total dependence on the Word of God and not on the material benefits of a worldly system? Of course, we would all say yes to those two questions, but are we willing to really live that kind of life of faith?
The people of that church discovered the incredible preserving power of the presence of God. Just like the Israelites whose clothing did not wear out or their feet swell from all the wandering because of the sustaining power of the presence of God, this congregation in Wisconsin knew that when they followed God’s heart and obeyed His word by sacrificing their own goals for God’s good, God would sustain them, preserve them, and provide for them.
That is how we are to live our lives individually and as a church – by faith in the presence and purpose of God. He will not fail to accomplish His glory no matter how big the sacrifice seems to be from our perspective. This church in the north understood that. But please don’t think they are special. They don’t think they are. They are just obedient, and filled with the joy that comes from knowing and doing God’s will. The pastor and leadership want no recognition other than to be called faithful.
So, use their example to motivate your faith, but give all the glory for it to God. Just be thankful that God has chosen to use you.