#155 (14/11/04)
Crafting Your Future: Part lll

The Message

By: Robert A.Schuller

Special Guest

Jerry Jampolsky & Diane Cirincione
Jerry Jampolsky, who came from Long Beach and his wife of so many years, Diane Cirincione. He has formed the Attitudinal Healing Center, which is fantastic, because it focuses on attitudes. Nothing like it. Now there are over a hundred and thirty independent centers for Attitudinal Healing in 29 countries on 5 continents offering, get this, free support services to those suffering from the effects of chronic or catastrophic illness loss, or grief. And there they deal with how attitudes will affect your psychological health, social health, physical, and most importantly your spiritual health.

Special Music

“Joyful, Joyful...”
" Praise to the Lord, the Almighty "
" God Make My Life a Happy Song "

" Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) "

HAYLEY WESTENRA - "Amazing Grace"

Acticle of The Message

Today I am continuing the series of messages entitled, "Crafting Your Future." As I have said previously, I use the word crafting because it is an art form and the art form begins by painting a picture in our mind of what we want our future to hold. We use oils not watercolors because you cannot change watercolors. Oils can be manipulated and changed, we can continue to do things so that the hand of God can direct and guide and move us in the direction that He has for our lives. The power of God becomes displayed in a powerful and dramatic way that begins with the vision and then we paint the picture. From there we take that vision and we begin writing it down; we begin developing a plan with which we can craft the future that God has planned for our lives.

I would like to share a bible verse with you. The verse was given to me when I was ordained in 1980.

"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelations 2:10).

This is a tremendous promise, but with it comes an unbelievable responsibility, "be faithful to the point of death." To me it almost sounds like there is a requirement for perfection, or a desire to go to the nth degree. I ask the question, "how is it possible to be faithful even to the point of death?"

Then I received another verse:

"Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord." (Zechariah 4:6)

Throughout the Bible we see the incredible power of God at work. When Moses saw the burning bush, God gave him a rod. Moses took the rod to Pharaoh and threw it at the feet of Pharaoh and the rod turned into a serpent. Moses took that same rod and he struck the Red Sea and the sea parted. Moses took that same rod and he hit the rocks in the desert and water gushed forth.

Charles Spurgeon's sermon entitled "Independence of Christianity" which he delivered on August 31, 1857 at the Music Hall at the Royal Surrey Garden, said: "Glory was not to the rod of Moses, but to the Almighty power which made the rod so powerful." We must realize and understand that our power does not come from the rod that God places in our hand, but through the power that God places in it. So the words of Zechariah 4:6 become true and meaningful to us, "not by might, not by power, but by My spirit says the Lord." So it is with you and me. The power of God flows through us, not our might, not our power, but the spirit of God at work through us. It is in this way and only in this way that we have the ability to fulfill the calling that God has given to us to be faithful, even to the point of death. Is this even remotely possible? By the Holy Spirit of God, everything is possible!

The Guinness book of world records lists the strongest man as Paul Anderson. On June 12, 1957 he lifted 6,270 pounds! He won a gold medal in the 1956 Olympics. One day he was speaking to a group of youth, and he grabbed a nail, and to make a point of his strength, he simply took that nail and he thrust it through a 2 X 4 with his bare hands. Getting the attention of the youth, he looked at them and he said, "As strong as this body is, I need Christ for my day to day living."

As we continue through the Bible, we read about David and Goliath.[1] David was sent by his father to bring lunch to his brothers. His three older brothers were in war, and it wasn't far from where they lived. David being the youngest of eight, his father made him stay home and take care of the sheep, and bring lunch to his brothers. David brought lunch to his brothers, and as he sat around the campfire listening to them talk about the news of the day, he heard them talking about Goliath. That really caught his attention! He heard them say, "Did you hear that the king will give great wealth to the man who kills Goliath? He will also give his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father's family from taxes in Israel?" David wanted to be sure he heard correctly so he asked the man standing near him, "now what will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel?" And the man said, "the king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give his daughter in marriage, and will exempt his father's family from taxes in Israel." David thought to himself, "I've killed lions and bears. This guy can't be that big and that tough." So David went to King Saul and said, "Im your man. I have heard this rumor and I want to make sure I have the vision correct in my mind. What happens to the man who kills Goliath?" The king replied, "I'll give great wealth to the man who kills Goliath, I will also give him my daughter in marriage, and I will exempt his father's family from taxes in Israel."

So David heard the declaration. The picture began to come clear in his mind. He heard it a second time, and he started to visualize it in color. He then began to put together a plan of action to make it happen. Then he asked the king a third time. The king said, "You are not able to go against the Philistine and fight him. You are only a boy and he has been a fighting man from his youth." David replied, "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion, and the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."

"Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit says the Lord." We do not slay our Goliaths with our might. We do not slay our Goliaths with our power. There is only one thing that we can do to succeed in life and that is to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to come through our lives and flow through our souls, and allow that power to make a difference.

We have to start somewhere. We have to start simply by saying what can I do today? We look at the vision that we have in our minds and it might be grand and glorious, far too grand and glorious for us to even begin to think about doing anything. All we can see is everything we cannot do, and there are a billion things I cannot do. But maybe there is one tiny little thing I can do. Start small, think tall and simply ask the question, "What can I do?"

In the 1800's there was a vision and an idea to build a bridge across the Niagara River by the falls. It seemed impossible. They wanted to have a suspension bridge, but how in the world could they possibly get the cables across this incredible river? The only thing they could think of was possibly flying a kite with a string across the river. So they came up with an idea, a contest. A contest was held with a five dollar prize being offered to the person who could fly a kite across the Niagara Gorge. A young American boy named Homan Walsh won the contest flying his kite from the Canadian shoreline. The string of his kite was fastened to a tree on the American shoreline and a light cord attached to it pulled across. Next came a heavier cord, then a rope and finally a wire cable composed of a number of strands of number ten wire which was the beginning of the new bridge. The first trip was made on May 12, 1848. It started from a kite string. Dont think about what you cannot do; rather, ask "what can I do?" Surely there is something you can do today to begin to make the vision God has given to you for your future a reality. As you take that tiny step, you may feel as though you are out there flying a kite, but at least it is a beginning. From small beginnings come the great bridges of the world.

"Not by faith, not by power, but by My spirit says the Lord." Day by day we live today, and we say thank You God for today. God will guide and God will lead, and our future is crafted, in not our power but in Gods power.

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You that You are a God who continues to touch the minds and the hearts of your people. You reach out and You gather your people together, as the good shepherd gathers His sheep. Please help us to hear your voice today, to respond with a positive affirmation of, yes Lord, where You guide I will follow. So give me the faith, Lord, to follow You today, tomorrow, and always. Amen.

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