Summary: If you want to be distressed...look within. We usually do not like what we see. If you want to be defeated...look back. Look at the past. If you want to be distracted.....look around at all the obstacles.If you want to be dynamic...look to God. Take a
Facing the Giants
“A Risk Worth Taking”
In his autobiography, Just as I am, Billy Graham tells about a conversation he had with JFK shortly after Kennedy was elected president. On te way back to the Kennedy house, Kennedy stopped the car and turned to Dr. Graham. He looked at him in the eye and said do you believe in the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. Graham replied I most certainly do. Kennedy said well does my church believe it? Graham said it is written in your creeds. Kennedy said well they don’t preach it. They don’t tell us much about it. I’d like to know what you think.
Graham explained what the Bible says about Jesus coming the first time, how he lived his life, his death on the cross, his resurrection and how he then promised that He would come again. And he said then and only then will we have true world peace. Kennedy said that’s very interesting...he began to look away and he said we’ll have to talk about that someday. And he drove on.
Several years later the two of them met again, this time at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1963. Dr. Graham said I remember I had the flu, so after I gave a short talk and the president gave his and then we walked out of the hotel to his car. At the curb, Kennedy turned to Dr. Graham and said Billy could you ride back to the white house with me? It was a cold, snowy day and he said I was freezing as i stood there without my coat. On top of that Dr. Graham was running a fever and feeling pretty weak. He said Mr. President I don’t feel well and I don’t want to pass this along to you... couldn’t we wait and talk some other time? Kennedy graciously said of course...
we’ll talk another time.
But the two of them would never meet again. Later that same year Kennedy was assassinated. Billy Graham says this....his hesitation at the car door and his request to talk with me...those things still haunt me. What was on his mind? What was he thinking? Should I have gone with him? He said it was an irrevocable moment.
Would you agree with me that all of us have moments like that ? They may not seem as dramatic, they certainly don’t involve the president but nonetheless they are moments in our life when we find ourselves at a crossroads and the decision we make at that moments changes us forever. Every one of us experience moments like that. Moments in which the future of our family stands in the balance, relationships with friends are in danger and opportunities can be forever lost.
I believe that is where Eagle’s landing is today. Let’s face it. There are some opportunities that when we miss them we simply do not get a 2nd chance to go back to them. They go away. The opportunity dies, someone else picks it up and we lose out. Having said all of that I believe that with all of my heart that God has blessed this church. We have seen 143 people give their lives to Christ and be baptized. We have seen small groups for discipleship emerge and people are getting involved. We have seen people in our own congregation healed of illnesses for which their doctors did not offer very much hope. We have had a vision of reaching this area for Christ. But here’s the thing...I am not sure we have taken enough risk. I am afraid that we stand in danger of becoming complacent and satisfied with things as they are.
In the book of Numbers chapter 13 we find an interesting story. It is a story of risk vs fear and it goes something like this...the Israelites were wandering around in the wilderness and they had been for years so they were becoming very tired and weary. Their goal was to get into the “promised land” but it was not going very well. So they selected 12 men as spies to go and look at the land....Canaan. Here are the instructions they were given....verse 18-20.
The report they brought back was a mixed report. The fruit they found was incredible. The land flowed with milk and honey. It’s hard to imagine how inviting this must have looked to the men who had been wandering around in a lonely desert for almost 40 years. So for 40 days the spies wandered over the entire land of Canaan. The report however that they brought back was a mixed one. Verses 27-28. They were frightened about the giants but at the same time they were excited about the resources that were there.
Caleb, who was really God’s man for the hour steps up and says we should go and take possession of this land and I think that he had 2 simple reasons in mind (1) we should go and take possession because we certainly CAN do it. In other words it is possible. (2) Then from all that they had seen, a land that is attractive, that has so many possibilities, it will certainly be worth it. This is a land worth taking. I believe that you and i live in a land, an area that is worth taking. It may not be flowing with milk and honey, but it still is the land that God has promised to us. And it is a land worth taking.