This is part of an article that appeared the first Sunday of January 2007 in The Lookout (Standard Publishing), a Christian weekly publication that my church subscribes to and provides for members. In the publishing industry The Lookout is called a “take-home paper” because that’s what people do with it – they take it home to read (hopefully they’re not reading it during the sermon!)
The Lookout was one of the first magazines I wrote for in the early 1990s. The writing advice I followed was to ‘write what you know’. Since I read The Lookout regularly, I knew what types of articles they wanted and sent several ideas to the editor. They were all stabs in the dark, but thankfully the editor published some. That was the encouragement I needed to persevere through dozens of rejections. I can say today it was worth it. Advice to beginning writers: Never Give Up!
These great photos were taken by a friend of mine, Matt Carrigan. Thanks, Matt!
In the 1960s the television program Star Trek used as part of its introduction to each show the phrase “to boldly go where no man has gone before”. It referred to the mission of the starship Enterprise and was read by actor William Shatner at the beginning of nearly every episode of Star Trek.
For years audiences sat before their TV sets, watching the exciting, new adventures that lay in wait for the unsuspecting crew.
Have you considered that God may want you to be like the Enterprise crew? He may want you to “go where no man has gone before” and be willing to stretch your limits to accomplish His will.
What does it mean to “go where no man has gone before” for God? For most people it doesn’t mean exploring outer space, but God may have us go out in three areas.
1) The Unknown.
The Bible is full of examples of people who ventured into the unknown at God’s leading. One example is Rahab, a harlot, helped foreign spies take over her city (Joshua 2). She escaped with the spies and began a new life with people who believed not in idols but in the one true God. Despite the fear she would be ostracized by the Israelites for her former way of life, Rahab chose to obey God which earned her a rank in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Rahab was what we might call a “baby Christian”, but she heeded God’s call to venture into the Unknown.
2) Do the impossible.
When Abraham was 100 years old, heavenly visitors told him he would be the father of a great nation. Abraham didn’t believe the message. Sarah, his wife, was 90 years old. She had never conceived and was considered beyond childbearing. Yet, within a year of God’s statement, events happened as the messengers had said (Hebrews 11:11-12).
Jesus taught this concept of believing that God could accomplish the impossible to his disciples. One day, a man with a son who was filled with an evil spirit asked for help in getting rid of the spirit. The disciples tried to cast out the demon, but couldn’t. Jesus said, “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23), then cast out the spirit.
When Satan uses barriers to threaten your confidence, recall the Apostle Paul’s words, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)
3) Give 100 percent effort.
It is hard to comprehend God’s plans when He asks us to give up something – a business, career, security. We may never see the end result of our act of obedience. Abraham never saw the great nation of which God had promised he would be the father. Yet he put all of his effort and might to the task at hand of obeying God. The Bible says trusting God with no end in sight is the mark of true faith. Such acts stretch our faith and perseverance as none other. (Hebrews 11:39-40)