Monday, July 22, 2002
One of the most amazing Christian warriors in my lifetime is a man who has come to be known as Brother Andrew, or "God's Smuggler." He's risked everything to get God's Word into spiritually closed countries where that was virtually impossible. Many consider him a real spiritual hero. No one can doubt that he is, at the very least, a bold risk-taker for Christ.
In his biography, he tells about an incident in his early life as a follower of Christ that showed him the kind of God he was serving. After some pretty wild years without the Lord, he came to Christ and almost immediately felt the call to begin training for the ministry. He went to this small Bible school in Scotland, and before the students were allowed to graduate, they were given a very unusual assignment. They were asked to go out for a month to do evangelistic outreaches in Scottish villages, and they were given some money to live on - one British pound, to be exact. For those of us who are Americans, it would be like being given a dollar to live on for a month. The students were to go with that one bill and eat, and sleep, and rent halls, and buy refreshments, and hold outreaches, and return that one bill at the end of the month. Brother Andrew's team went out and did just that. Except he returned with enough money for the school to send out two missionaries!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "One Dollar And God."
Maybe everyone in God's service should have an assignment like that - to live the adventure of what life is like when all you've got is God. Now you may be at or near that point right now. Or it may be that God wants you to be at that point, and you've been avoiding it. For all of us, the ultimate questions of security and obedience boil down to this: Can God be trusted? Is God really enough? Figuratively speaking, can I make it when it's just "one dollar and God"?
Our word for today from the Word of God is 1 Kings 17:1-6. The prophet Elijah has just delivered a message of God's judgment to the Jewish king that there's going to be a long drought in Israel. Then the prophet is given an assignment that sounds something like Brother Andrew's in Bible school. He is sent into a situation where it's just him and God - just him and whatever God provides, that is. He's being sent away from all the normal sources of supply.
Here's what the Bible says: "Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah, 'Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.' So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook."
Now, God sends Elijah into this situation where God is all he has. God may be doing the same thing with you. And notice, God will always find a way to provide what His servant needs. He's, in fact, the God of unlikely sources! His people have nowhere to get water in the wilderness, so it comes from a rock! Five thousand people have nowhere to get lunch, so Jesus takes the one lunch there and makes 5,000 lunches from it.
Elijah is in the wilderness where there is nowhere to get food. Oh yeah? Twice a day, here come the ravens, delivering God's supply. But you have to be in a seemingly hopeless situation like this to experience God's amazingness like this. I want to tell you that after 35 years of faith ministry, I can "amen" David's testimony in Psalm 37:25. "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread."
If God has you at a point where it's "one dollar and God" - financially, emotionally, physically - don't stop trusting Him now. Your security is not the resources you have in your hand, but the Heavenly Father you belong to. And if you've been holding back from God's calling because you can't see where the resources will come from, remember the God of the manna, and the ravens, and the endless lunch. If you don't step out of the boat, you'll never know what it is to walk on water!
A great spiritual warrior was once a Bible school student with the equivalent of a dollar to live and a month to live on it. And he found out what you can discover in a time when there seems to be "no way," one dollar and God is more than enough for everything you need!