Isa 43:18-19   Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.   Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. KJV

Wonderful, marvelous, amazing!  These are the words that come to mind when I think about Fountain of Life’s 29th anniversary.  I am not referring to the celebration we’ve just experienced.  Oh that was a great blessing.  Rev. Gene and Sherry May ministered life to our congregation and God’s presence was evident with joy unspeakable and full of glory!

No, I’m speaking of a 32 year old kid stepping into an adventure that was anything but natural.  The truth was I enjoyed being Pastor Ed Potts’ associate; to this day I have fond memories of that season in my life and being a part of that church family.  It was the hardest time of our life to leave them and yet that is what the Lord asked.  I believe I know a little about what Abram must have felt when he left his father and mother not knowing where he was going.

Every step Abram made was made in the midst of adversity and every step developed Abram in hope and faith.  At the end of his journey Abram was a changed man, a man of God, the friend of God.  

Concerning Fountain of Life, we have been on this sojourn together for 29 years and we too have been molded and changed by our experience.  We have had to deal with hurt, offense, with misunderstanding, accusation and with disappointment and yet we continued to walk toward God’s plan.  A minister once said, “Pastoring is like driving a bus, people get on and get off but your destination remains the same.

Rev. Mays prophetic word for us (you and me) was “Cross over to the other side”.  It reminds us of the children Israel their deliverance, and their “Sinai” experience.  As difficult as that season was for the people of Israel the Lord used their experience to build them.  By the time Israel had gathered at Jericho they had become an army, from slaves to an army.  

It is true as well for the people of Fountain of Life.  God has and is using our experience together to build us as his people.

Like the children of Israel, we have had to come through similar testing and issues. 1Corinthian 10 lists some tests that are “common to man” they are: lusting for evil things (we’ve had to learn our flesh will lead us in the wrong direction), idolatry (putting anything before Jesus, they can be seemingly good things that are out of God’s order.  Did you notice Paul said “they rose up to play? This is the word that characterize the day in which we live), fornication (sexual sins will war in your soul unless you overcome it with the grace of God),  and murmuring (that’s the typical sin of the church today. If they are not murmuring about some Pastor they murmur about some Christian).  These are what every Christian has to overcome to be able to cross to the “other side into Jordan”.

Crossing to the other side speaks of God’s perfect will in your life and mine.  It takes God a lot of effort and time to get us to that place.  I remember thinking as read about the children of Israel going around and around the wilderness; I’ll never be that dumb!  Oh my goodness what a prideful statement.  The truth is we are cut from the same cloth!

I remember a scene from the movie “Raider of the Lost Ark – the Holy Gail” in that scene Indy, Henry, Marcus, and Sallah catch up with the surviving Nazis, who have found the temple where the Grail is kept but are unable to pass through the three protective  traps. Donovan shoots Henry, mortally wounding him, in order to force Indy to risk his life in the traps to find the Grail and use its healing power to save Henry. Using the information in the diary and followed by Donovan and Elsa, Indy safely overcomes the traps (circular blades, a word puzzle, and an invisible bridge across a bottomless pit), and reaches the Grail’s chamber, which is guarded by a knight. This guard  has been kept alive for seven hundred years by the power of the Grail, which is hidden among dozens of fake Grails. Elsa betrays Donovan by deliberately giving him a golden chalice, which causes him to decay into dust upon drinking from it. Indy then uses his expert knowledge to find the true Grail, a plain cup of a carpenter.  The precept behind this scene is a picture of humility.  The world can make an entertaining story using these themes yet cannot seem to glean the truths of it.

Crossing over to the other side has to do with humble obedience to a living savior and putting everything in our lives in the right order behind the priorities of the King of Glory.

What about you? What have you put in front of the Lord’s will in your life? What are you unwilling to do for Jesus because of your pride or because of your flesh?  What has hindered you from following closely after Jesus?

As for me, God has called me to cross over. I will follow him no matter what! Who will come and go with me? Our future and the future of others are at stake.

Phil 3:7-14  I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.  As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death,  so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead!

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.  No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.  NLT