Are you ready to open the door of faith and unleash unlimited power in your life for 2015?
I will not pretend to know what’s in store for you—or even for me—in this sparkling third day of a brand new year. But one thing I know for certain. God has a great purpose for your life and for your accomplishments in the days ahead.
It’s natural to be apprehensive about the unknown. Will we have to cope with illness? Unemployment? A housing crisis? A financial crisis? Some unseen peril? Will there be life’s normal obstacles and barriers or a new set of them? Of course the answer to that question is: yes, there will be both. But what if we won’t know when to expect them? Will there be unfamiliar situations? Unknown enemies?
We recognize that we are limited. Unprepared. Vulnerable. Mortal. Open. We struggle to comprehend what it all means. Anxiety about life’s ups and downs is commonplace.
The reality is that we paint a number of mental pictures of what might happen tomorrow.
How astonishing it is to realize that the God who orders the galaxies can be approached through the avenue of faith.
Recently I interviewed the dynamic author, servant leader and television network sports analyst, Coach Tony Dungy, for “The Leadership Zone,” the SiriusXM Radio Program which I host (produced by American Baptist College). During our conversations, he shared many insights about success and about winning the literal game of football and the game of life. In accomplishing his spectacular accomplishments as a history-making NFL coach, Tony Dungy’s “playbook” was based on what he knew about the sport. And, even beyond that, on what he knows about God!
Tony Dungy unashamedly applies faith to leadership, decision-making and his personal experiences. That’s a great example to follow. The key to his successes, in my opinion, is that he has consistently dared to open the door to a greater faith.
Hebrews Chapter 11 is one of the most marvelous passages contained in the Word of God. This is the record comprising what many Bible students have historically called Faith’s “Hall of Fame.” In that discourse, there is a long list of famous, unforgettable names–those who enjoyed having God as their constant partner. You know who they are. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Joseph, Moses, Rahab.
The author of the Book of Hebrews presents this impressive list of notables because their faith experiences altered history, shook empires, created dynasties, launched movements, immobilized the mouths of lions, and changed the world. Then, finally, in verses 32 to 39, I love it when the writer concludes: It’s just too much. I cannot even tell you about how their faith extinguished fires and allowed them to survive being destitute, mocked, stoned, and dwelling in caves. What? All of that, Lord?
And then, imagine this. The scene changes. You are no longer looking at them; they are looking at you. These same people are watching you. You take one step in faith, and they yell out a cheer: “Go on! You can do it!”
This could be the Olympics or a big city marathon. You sense that the atmosphere is charged. You are at a pivotal point in the race. Your knees are weak; your steps are uncertain. Yet, suddenly you hear those cheering voices. It’s an enormous crowd of supporters gathered around just for you.
They are alive, well and close at hand. They are not only watching you and encouraging you, but they are wildly positive. One writer has defined these faith stalwarts as cheering admirers, all crowding around.
Not just as spectators who enjoy the sport, but as experienced athletes who have run this same race that you now run. In the same struggles of life, under the banner of the same God. Like relay racers, they are waiting to inspire you as you run the next lap, encouraging you to finish strong.
Today, I pray that you have an amazing year.
And, if you’re willing to take the Faith Challenge, even without knowing what’s behind that door, I say in faith: “let the challenge begin!”
(Note: Please listen to the two-part Tony Dungy interview, originally broadcast on SiriusXM, on SoundCould. See the link above.