Monday, December 29, 2008
After 17 wonderful years as the senior pastor of the First Evangelical Free Church of Onalaska, Wisconsin, God made it clear that I was to step out in faith and move back to Georgia to be closer to my wife's and my family. To all of those who read this from First Free, I want you to know I hold you near and dear to my heart.
Throughout this journey of faith and obedience, I have felt like the Israelites when they crossed the Jordan River. How so? Well, God required the priests to put their feet into the water before He parted the river. In other words, they had to get their feet wet first. Thus, the title of this blog - "Wet Feet." When we walk by faith our feet will get wet. As I said in one of my last sermons at First Free, "I would rather walk on water for just a few feet and fall in (like Peter), than to never get out of the boat. I want to be a water walker and not a boat hugger!"
Speaking of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River, check out the following passage and take special note of the words in bold:
"So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground." Joshua 3:14-17
Here are a few things that stand out to me in this passage:
1. God had His people take this risky step of faith when circumstances were the most challenging: river at floodstage. Often, God will allow circumstances to become quite challenging to test our faith and obedience. Following Jesus is not easy at times!
2. The miracle was not accomplished by simply praying and waiting on the water to part (some miracles do happen through this method, but not this one). Instead, their feet had to touch the water's edge. This must have been very scarry for them. It has been very scarry for me to leave a wonderful church and move my family to the southeast when I have no employment.
3. Firm footing ("dry ground") came after the step of faith and obedience. I am still awaiting my "dry ground."
Where might God be calling you to trust Him in the midst of very frightening circumstances? Perhaps it has to do with a job, relationship, finances, or area of purity. If we are willing to obey God, trust His faithful character, and hold fast to His reliable Word, then we will be able to say as the hymn writer, "On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."
So, this is the beginning of "Wet Feet" - a blog designed to encourage and challenge through the ministry of grace and truth. I will be very transparent in this blog to share my heart and life with you. I believe in authenticity in relationships, so you will get it here!
In the days ahead I will be sharing the lessons God has been teaching me during this "wet feet" experience. In addition, I will share about the book I am about to complete ("Pastoring With Passion") as well as another book I am planning to write ("Not Your Will But Mine Be Done" - yes, you read the title correctly). More on this later.
I welcome your feedback and input as you read this blog.
May Jesus Christ be glorified through this blog! "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).