Faith for Life's Journey II(05/01/02)
By Dr. Robert
Last week my wife and
I did take the Sunday off and we had a fabulous time. I don't
know if you know this or not, but there are some great travel
deals right now. There really are. And so we took advantage of
some of those great travel deals. And guess what we did. We went
down to a little Baja village on the Sea of Cortez, called La
Paz, Mexico and we just had the time of our life. We were walking
along the streets and we saw a dive shop. I said, Donna, let's
go take a look inside the dive shop, you know, where they do scuba
We started scuba diving
on our honeymoon and since then when we go different places if
we have an opportunity we check out what's available. When we
go diving we said, we walked into this dive shop and we said,
so do you have any dive excursions? And they said, why we do.
We've got this place called the Bajo. Bajo, what is that? He goes
it's a seamount. It's about 10 miles off the coast and there's
a rock that comes out from the bottom of the ocean. It comes within
45 feet of the surface.
I said, what's out
there? He says, oh, it amazing. You can go out there and you can
see some really big fish. And there's lots and lots of fish. It's
rocks down there. It's not a Coral Reef, it's rocks, but it's
beautiful. And I said, so is there anything to be afraid of? And
he says, no, some people are a little bit afraid of the hammerheads
and with that he pulls out a picture. I said, you want us to dive
with those? And he says, well most people really enjoy seeing
the hammerheads. And it really is a spectacular dive. So I said,
Donna looked at me
and she says, what do you mean, you're in? Said I'm going. Well,
this is a chance. She said, you're going diving with the hammerheads?
Those are sharks you know. Go, I know. She goes, those are big
sharks you know. I go, I know. I said, there's two of us and only
one dive guide. What have we got to lose, but a dive guide.
So, we looked at all
of the facts. We put together the realization that chances are
it would be an incredible, life-changing experience, and not life
ending. Life changing. Life experience, something that we'd remember
for the rest of our lives. And the chances of us having any problems
were very, very slim. So we did it. And guess what, it was just
like the picture. It was absolutely phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal.
But it made me stop
and think how many times do we allow fabulous opportunities in
life to pass us by why? Because we're afraid! The facts are you
will never have a perfect situation that doesn't require some
risk and with little risk there's opportunities of tremendous
And today I'm afraid
that there are people in our nation, who are not taking advantage
of tremendous opportunities because of one tiny little four letter
word called fear.
Here's what the Psalmist
says: "God is our refuge and strength. An ever present help in
trouble. Therefore we will not fear. Though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. Though the waters
roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging, we will
And today it is time
for us to say those exact same words, we will not fear. Because
we know the facts. I wrote an acronym for fact this morning: Fear
not, act now, calm down, and trust God. And if we will live with
the facts instead of living in fear, we will be able to move forward
with the faith that God has given to us. So you realize what great
news we have today?
How many women here
love it when the stores have sales? How many men hate it when
the stores have sales. The good news is, ladies and gentlemen,
the stock market is on sale. They're having a great sale. Get
this: there's a sale going on for real estate. Get this: there's
a sale at the bank. Never before have I ever seen lower interest
rates. You have to go to a much older man to find somebody who
has seen lower interest rates. You have? Or haven't? He hasn't
seen lower interest rates.. you have to go a much older man to
find lower interest rates. There's never been a better time to
buy a house. I bought my first house when I was 19 years old.
I was a sophomore in college. I was going to rent a house with
some of my buddies, and we went and we checked out the price of
houses and they were renting them for $150 a month. I said, well
how much do they cost? He said, well you could buy one for $12,000.
I said, well let me see, what kind of loan, financing could I
get? Well, it turns out you have put $1,000 down and $97.21 a
month. So I bought one. I had $1,000 that I had collected since
I was 5 years old from $50 worth of, for a birthday present and
$50 for a Christmas present and after 19 years I'd collected a
whopping $1,000 in my savings account. I cashed out my savings
account, I went and I bought a house. The interest rates were
about 9%. Since then I watched the interest rates go up to 16%.
And ever since then I've been re-financing my house as they keep
coming down and down and down and down. And now I'm going to re-finance
again. I'm going to save lots of money every month. Because the
banks are having a sale. But, oh listen to the doomsday prophets,
and you will not dare do anything. The sky is falling, the sky
is falling, the sky is falling they tell us
We find out that if
we follow the facts instead of following fear, that God will bless
you. He is waiting to bless you. He wants to bless you and all
we have to do is put a little trust in Him. Hear the facts. It's
an acrostic: Fear not. Act now. Calm down. Trust God.
I look at the journey
that Moses took through the wilderness. He spent 20 years in the
wilderness. And after wandering for 20 years he came to the promised
land. God led him there and He said, here it is! So Moses went
and he sent out his 10 spies to find out what it was like. The
10 spies came back and 8 of the 10 spies said, you know Moses,
those guys over there are big. Their walls are thick. That place
Two of the ten, Joshua
and Caleb said, you know what Moses, those guys are big. Those
walls are thick, but with the power of God we can take them! And
Moses says, okay we've got 8 spies over here says we don't stand
a chance. We've got Joshua and Caleb who says we can take them.
Eight to two. Sorry Joshua. Sorry Caleb. And instead of facing
the walls of the Jericho, he spent another 20 years in the wilderness.
Twenty years later God brings him back to the same place, and
it is there at the gates that Moses dies and he never entered
the promised land.
And Joshua and Caleb
are the only two spies who are still living. What had they seen
before? What had changed in the last 20 years? Nothing. They were
the same big guys, the same big walls, the same impossibilities.
But Joshua and Caleb knew that with God they could knock down
the walls. And they received the promised land from God.
And God is waiting
to bring you your promised land. When we accept the gifts of God,
He will turn our shadows into light. He'll turn our wilderness
into the promised land, He'll turn a poverty into prosperity.
He'll turn a negativity into positivity. He'll turn our fear into
Today I want you to
act on the facts. The facts are fear not. The facts are act now.
The facts are calm down. Okay?
When my wife and I
went diving with the sharks, we're in the middle of the ocean.
There is no land anywhere around. We go this is where we're diving.
There's nothing here. And I said yes this is where you're diving.
Who's going in first? And there was a couple of other professional
divers on board with their cameras about this big, who are down
there working for different dive magazines. And then, of course,
there was my wife and I. And we said, we'll let them go first.
Finally I get in there and I'm sitting there on top of the water
waiting for the dive guide and some of the other people to come
in, and I'm got this tank of air on my back and I'm ready to hyperventilate.
I'm going.. and bubbles were blowing all over the place. Finally
I go, you know what? You're going to run out of air before you
get down at this rate.
Calm down. Take it
easy. They're nice fish. And I slowed down. And we reached the
bottom and we were surrounded by this beauty, and then we passed
a corner in the rock and there they were. A huge school of them.
And all of a sudden I started going.. and what do I do? Calm down.
Nice fishy. And we stopped and we looked at their beautiful bodies
as they just glided through the water and they could care less
about us. They weren't interested in us. And we enjoyed the beauty
and we enjoyed the fish and all the fear left and the second dive
was twice as long as the first dive, because my air lasted 3 times
as long. Don't allow the fear to get in your way, to follow the
facts. The facts are fear not, the facts are act now, the facts
are calm down, trust God. As we look at the situation our nation
is in today, and we compare it with World War II, you can imagine
what would happen if 55 years ago a US destroyer came face to
face with a German destroyer. But only a few weeks ago a US destroyer
came face to face with a German destroyer. But what is 50 years
do to nations? As the US Winston Churchill was approached by the
FGS Ludkin, they noticed that the crew was on the port side and
they were saluting the Winston Churchill. And they were flying
a US flag half mast and in their naval way they broadcast the
sign, we stand with you. "For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
Plans to give you hope and a future." Trust God.
Dear God we thank You,
for the fact that You are alive today, that You are God, that
You love us, that You care for us. That You lead us through the
tough times, that You are there in the midst of it all. And so
we thank You Lord, for giving us confidence this very moment to
trust You. To move forward in faith. So we love You Lord, Amen.