Jan. 26, 2020 Sunday, 4:04 am
“So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses? And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when troubles break loose like the Jordan in flood?” Jeremiah 12:5, THE MESSAGE
Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda (Chavda Ministries International and All Nations Church in the Charlotte, North Carolina area) were, and still are, two people that have run hard after the purposes of God for over 40 plus years now. I am very confident of that, for I served with them for 14 of those years, from 1987-2001, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and then Charlotte, North Carolina. They were certainly spiritual runners back then.
Along with Mahesh and Bonnie, my good wife, Laurie, joined with our good friends Michael and Leslie Adams, and Art and Ruth Maki in 1994 and formed All Nations Church at the home of the Chavdas in Wilton Manors, Florida, located next to Fort Lauderdale. The Adams, Makis and the Martins (that would be us) now walk together at another church in the Charlotte, North Carolina/Rock Hill, South Carolina region known as Antioch International Church, founded by Dr. Peter and Joy Wyns, along with Pastors Jesse and Elizabeth Enns, and other dear friends. Great people all around!
Both All Nations Church and Antioch International Church are now located on the grounds of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s former Heritage USA and the PTL Network. For you see, the Lord’s promises are true and will always come to pass for those who “keep fixing their eyes on Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2, NASU)
Those widows’ mites sown in the Bakker years did not go to waste but are still bearing fruit.
During those14 years, and the subsequent 5 years with Vision For Israel (Barry & Batya Segal), after completing 8 years with Derek Prince Ministries, were not the culmination of a life of service for me. They were the preparation for the “now assignment” our great God has given to fulfill now.
Honestly, and being very forthright, those were some tough years. When a family moves from Illinois to Michigan to Florida to North Carolina – you certainly pay a price as you follow the Lord’s leading. When we were called to do that, as you may have too been I am sure, you don’t fully understand the journey ahead at the time, nor always see clearly, but when we hear and obey, with the commitment to always keep walking the walk through it, we then understand.
My good wife Laurie and our four kids, Josh, Ben, Hannah, and Christen, have walked it out with me through those long, and sometimes dark, years. But they too have and continue to receive the fruit born because of it. For as the Scripture painted on wood in our home proclaims daily, “as for me and my house, we will serve the living God of Israel”, and HE is always faithful.
I am not one to “gloss over” the past as I walk down memory lane, but they truly were years of preparation for the final push coming beyond this my 65th year of life. Those 24 years with three international ministries were all in preparation for now. The past 10 years with the ministry the Lord gave us in April 2010, Love For His People, have been a struggle, but now is the time of release and let go with God leading.
As the Complete Jewish Bible puts it (I like using several versions of God’s Word) in Jeremiah 12:5, “If racing men on foot exhausts you, how will you compete against horses? You may feel secure in a land at peace, but how will you do in the Yarden’s (Jordan’s) thick brush?”
A story that Mahesh often shared, and often heard over those 14 years with him, as the Lord firmly planted it in my spirt, was of the Chinese bamboo tree. As it was told by him, often in his humorous way, this tree seemingly lies dormant in the ground for five long years. Then in the 5th year it shoots up 30 feet into the sky.
Now the question is asked, did it grow 30 feet only in that 5th year, or was the time in the “dark, gloomy, is anyone with you in the black dirt” producing it all along? My guess is both. Those years of preparation were for these now years of production.
Those of you who have pressed on, persevered, “gone where no man has gone before” and are still going on, let me encourage you with this.
You have run the race up until this marker on the racecourse, and you are STILL running. You have pushed through the dirt and grim and you are STILL pushing. You have persevered through the years of pain, suffering, doubt, and unbelief, but you are STILL persevering.
Good for you! The reward is great, for NOW you too have been prepared, even as Queen Hadassah, known more commonly as Queen Esther in these parts, was raised up. The Jewish woman whom the Lord chose and then developed to save His people during another time of persecution and attempted destruction, did the job, and saw the results.
We also must complete our assigned tasks, our life’s fulfilling purpose, our divine destiny, for all that the Lord God of Israel has prepared for us together to finish. Yes, together as His Body of Christ.
So, keep running. Run with the horses. Don’t let weariness overtake you. Gird up thy loins with the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit behind you, and sail on the expanding waters of Hus purposes and plans for you and me. (The Creator never stops creating and revealing!)
We will see and hear the victorious acclamations awaiting us at the race’s finish line, as God the Father greets us with these words also, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:23, NKJV
Amen, Comrades, Saints of God!
Now think on this.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Founder/President Love For His People, Inc.
Have you signed up to come to the GTE, the Gathering Together Event April 3-4, 2020 in the Charlotte, North Carolina/Rock Hill, South Carolina area yet? Do you know about it?
Check it our here and then register. We need you to be connected too! https://loveforhispeople.com/events/2020-gathering-together-event/
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Now Think On This #476 – in the year of our Lord 01.26.2020 –“Run With The Horses” Sunday, 4:04 am
Coming on July 11, 2020, in our area: A one-day purposed event to prepare for the coming days ahead. Be watching for further information.