Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10


crossing-red-sea.jpgThis Lord of ours can act very strangely at times. He is hard to discern. For instance, He leads His escaping fledgling family to the shores of the Red Sea with no apparent retreat He miraculously gives Abraham a son and a promise and then asks him to take that life. Upon hearing of the sickness of his dear friend, Lazarus, Jesus purposely lets him die and shows up late for the funeral. Furthermore, when confronted with an angry mob and a Roman cross, he spoke not a word but went as a sheep before its shearers to an ignominious death. Why? Will someone please tell me why? Serving God can be so confusing. You dedicate your life the best you know only to have God leave you at a crucial moment. Warning! Be careful of those who have ready answers and ‘quick’ fixes to your personal dilemas. They are legion. But pious platitudes , empty religious sayings, and quoted Bible verses are not enough to answer the question before us.
In Chapter thirteen of his gospel John records some of the last words of Jesus just prior to that cruel death. After having been with the disciples for over three years, Jesus suddenly announces to the little band that he is leaving and they can’t go where he is going! Impetuous Peter expresses what everyone else is thinking when he asks, “Where are you going? Why can’t I come?”
You know what? I’m with Peter. This Christian walk is hard enough as it is but without Jesus around it is downright impossible. Peter already indicated that he and the others had ‘left all’ to follow him and now Jesus is telling them he is bailing out. Why does God do that? Why does He hide from us in our time of greatest need? I confess I have questioned His choices many times in my life. It seems just about the time I need Him most He is gone. I have found myself joining Peter and the twelve saying, ‘Lord, Where are you going’? Remember Mary Magdalene the morning of the resurrection? The events of the cross had taken her Lord away. She threw herself around his feet and clung to Him so hard that He had to ask her to let go so He could ascend to the Father.
I once heard a man of God say, “In the life of faith there are no questions.” However, I have found that a life ofquestions.jpg faith is often filled with questions. When Jesus goes away, when God hides from us, it creates a bushel basket full of questions. The creation of these questions is by design. Let us not forget the greatest man born of woman was confused about Jesus and asked, “Are you the one or should we expect another?” Even our Lord , while dying on the cross, was perplexed, when His Father hid from him. He said, “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?” Here, too, in perhaps the greatest hour of need of any person who has ever lived, God appeared to be absent.
There is, perhaps, a little hint to the answer in the Song of Solomon. On at least two occasions Solomon mysteriously hides from his bride and leaves her to search through the streets for him. On one occasion her search ends when she spys him peering at her from behind a wall and through a lattice. It seems that her new husband never really left her at all but hid himself that he might surprise her with his presence at an appropriate time.
native-american-boy.jpg I am reminded of a story related by one of the Brothers in our Fellowship. He told of the ancient right of passage for young Native American boys. It seems that each boy had to pass rigid tests to become a man. The last and most significant test was that the young Brave was taken out into the deep woods, blindfolded. To pass the test he must remain at his post during the night and endure all the frightening sounds and threatening voices from without and within. Through the night the Coyotes and wolves cried, the Wildcats stalked and the Owls hooted. The boy’s imagination magnified each sound into something it was not. It’s interesting how much worse sounds and experiences are, when you can’t see and you are all alone. The next morning the sunlight revealed not only a new day but each young Brave’s Father had been only a stone’s throw away all during the night. He had been there to drive away any threat to life or limb.
Why does God hide? I’m not sure I know nor can I give much of an answer but there is one thing I know. Moses let God lead him into the trap by the Red Sea and then divided it. Abraham placed his son on the altar and discovered a ram caught in the thicket. Jesus let Lazarus die and then raised him from the dead. “When we reach the end of our horded resources, our Father’s full giving is only begun”. Apparently, God longs for us to reach the end of ourselves and we only do that, when we think He is gone. When I have done all I can do and there is nothing left, God is just getting started. Jesus told Peter, I am going away and you cannot come now…” This frightened the Big Fisherman. However, it was during those hours, when Jesus hid from Peter that he discovered the weaknesses of his flesh and shallowness of his braggadocious resolve. That time of lonliness and fear turned a “weak”, Simon into “the Rock”, Peter. It made a follower into a leader. So, when the things life throws at you become overwhelming and God seems to be nowhere in sight, and all appears to be lost, remember you may be finished but God isn’t. You may be living in Friday but Sunday’s comin’. He may go away, but oh dear friend…He’s coming back, and during his apparent absence we discover our passion for him is greater and our love for him is deeper.

October 12th, 2007 Posted by | Discipleship, Faith | one comment

If God Can Do That, He Can Do Anything!

daddy-and-little-girl.jpgOur daughter, Stacye, has always been “my little girl”. From the time she was able to toddle around the house she would follow me and get into whatever project or ‘honeydo’ thing I was doing. There are many experiences I could relate about her life, but none could match the lesson of faith God gave our family related to her wedding day.
Several years ago, while living in West Virginia, Kathi and I were enjoying a much needed ‘day-off’. We drove to a town about thirty minutes away and Kathi wanted to stop at a health-food store. I had little interest in going into the store so I stayed in the car and turned on a Christian radio station. They were playing some good worship music and I was enjoying the Presence of the Lord. Suddenly, a song began to play about a Daddy and his little girl. It was a ballad and the storyline spoke of the relationship between the Daddy and his little girl from her earliest years, through the teen struggles and ended on her wedding day. As the song played I began to think about Stacye. She was about 12 or 13 years old at the time but she seemed to be growing up all too quickly. I thought of what it might be like on her wedding day and I began to cryCry. Kathi came back to the car and found me dissolved in tears. Being the caring person she is, she asked what was wrong with me? I tried to tell her about the song and I told her I felt I needed to sing it on Stacye’s wedding day.
There was a problem, however. I did not know the name of the song and I did not know, who was singing it. I immediately called the radio station but they were unable to identify either the song or the recording artist. For several weeks and months I searched at Christian bookstores, record shops (that dates me doesn’t it?) and asked everyone I thought would know, but came up empty. Finally, I simply prayed a prayer of desperation. I said, “Lord, if you want me to sing that song at Stacye’s wedding one day, you’re going to have to find it for me. I’ve done everything I know to do and I just can’t find it.” At that point I was able to release the whole thing into the hands of a soverign God.
Days became weeks and weeks stretched into years. I don’t remember being overly anxious about finding the song. I had given it into the hands of the One who knows all, so why should I worry? Some years after, the Lord moved Kathi and me to Sarasota, Florida to minister to a small group of believers. We had been there about a year and a half and Kathi and I went out to eat at an Amish Diner. After enjoying a fine meal, we were walking out the door and I saw a poster advertising “Steve and Annie Chapman”. Steve and Annie are Christian entertainers. Dr. James Dobson has called them, “Missionaries to the home”. I said to Kathi, “Oh, honey! I would love to see Steve and Annie.” You see, Annie and I were raised in the same community. We went to the same Church, attended the same schools and belonged to the same 4-H Club. I had not seen her in many years and my heart thrilled to think of the opportunity to renew our fellowship.
The date arrived and Kathi and I went to the Mennonite Church in Sarasota for the concert. It was so good to hear them sing and several of their songs brought tears to our eyes. Just prior to intermission. Steve Chapman said there had been a request for a certain song that he had NOT planned to do, but he felt the Lord would have him grant the request. As he began to sing I immediately knew it was the song I had heard some eight years previously and which I had committed to the Lord to help me find. I turned to Kathi and said, in a not so quiet voice, “KATHI! THAT’S THE SONG”! I had spoken with such force and joy that people were turning around, looking at me from several different places in the sancturary.
Can you imagine the thrill in my heart? I had truly committed this into the hands of the Lord. I had not worried about it. I had actually trusted God about something that was really important to me…and do you know what I discovered? I discovered it was important to God too.
After the concert Kathi and I were invited by a family to share in a reception for Steve and Annie. We had a marvelous time reviewing ‘old times’ together as children. I finally had the opportunity to tell Annie the story I have just told you. She said to me, “Well, Dave, I’ll just send you the accompaniament tape so you can sing at Stacye’s wedding.
Little did I know eight years prior, sitting in my car, listening to a song on the radio in West Virginia that God was going to use that experience to teach me one of the greatest lessons of faith I have ever had. Later that night I was reflecting about the experience. I looked up to heaven, lifted my hands in praise and said, “God, if you can do that, you can do anything!” To this day that experience in Christ remains as one of the most glorious in my walk with Christ. I have reviewed it a number of times as I have faced times of testing and trial in the succeeding years. The thought of what God did for me then encourages me to continue to ‘fight the good fight of faith’.
Below are the words to: YOU’RE THE ONLY LITTLE GIRL IN MY HEART!
She skipped across the room in her pretty new dress.
Did a balerina turn in her patent leather shoes.
and to say the very least I was impressed. She was my little girl.
And we played our little game again. I said,
‘Who’s the only man in your heart’?
And she smiled as we held each other’s hands.
She said, ‘Daddy don’t ya’ know, Daddy don’t ya’ know?
You’re the only man in my heart.
A few years later in her life. I saw her walkin’ home from school.
She had her books in her arms and a young man at her side.
And I felt a jealous pain. And I felt just like a fool.
But when the young man told her ‘Bye, I said,
‘Can I walk with you’?
And we played our little game again. I said,
‘Who’s the only man in your heart’?
And she smiled as we held each other’s hands.
She said, ‘Daddy don’t ya’ know, Daddy don’t ya’ know?
You’re the only man in my heart’!
It’s hard to believe. That day has come and gone.
He put a ring on her hand that held her Daddy’s heart.
And I’ll always remember, when they played that wedding song,
the words my little girl said to me…
“Daddy! Can we play that little game?
Who’s the only little girl in your heart?”
And I cried as I softly called her name.
I said, “Honey, don’t ya’ know, Stacye don’t ya’ know
You’re the only little girl in my heart.
I don’t know what special thing God may have promised you or how bleak the situation might be to see it come to pass. My encouragement is for you to turn it over to the One, who knows all things and, who is able to do exceeding, abundantly more than we can ask or think. Who knows? You may be having a quiet evening out with your companion or friend and, in a moment God may do something special for you too…And, if God can do that, he can do anything.
Oh yeah…I and Stacye’s best friend, Naomi, did sing the song at her wedding. I ‘blubbered’ my way through it. But it was even more special than I can tell you. She’s still the only ‘little’ girl in my heart.

August 29th, 2007 Posted by | Faith, Prayer | 12 comments