UNDAUNTED COURAGE is Stephen Ambrose’s best selling account of the Lewis and Clark expedition
….After two years of battling nearly insurmountable problems – hunger, fatigue, desertion, hostile enemies, severe illness, and death – the party had reached the headwaters of the Missouri river. All their advance information had led them to believe that once they reached the Continental divide, they would face about a half – day potage, and then reach the waters of the Columbia River and float safely to the Pacific Ocean….They were on their way to hero status…The hard part behind them…OR SO THEY THOUGHT!
Meriwether Lewis left the rest of the party behind him to climb the bluffs that would enable him to see the other side, hoping to see the waters that would carry them the rest of the way…IMAGINE WHAT HE FELT WHEN RATHER THAN SEEING A GENTLE SLOPING VALLEY AS EXPECTED, HE WAS INSTEAD THE FIRST NON-NATIVE AMERICAN TO LAY HIS EYES ON THE MASSIVE ROCKY MOUNTAINS IN FRONT OF HIM.
What do you do when you think you biggest problems are behind you only to find out you are really just getting warmed up?
…….I picture Lewis looking at the rest of the party climbing up the hill IN EXPECTATION…..AND HE IS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW HE WAS GOING TO BREAK THE NEWS TO THEM…..”he guys hang on just a minute…Don’t come up here just yet!….I have a little surprise for you when you get up here.
Yes, eventually the Rock Mountains would perhaps be the most amazing part of their entire trip….the challenge would call for enormous courage and creativity and perseverance….it would lead them to sights they would never forget and experiences they had never known before……it would get them to a point where if they had CONQUERED THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS THEY COULD TACKLE ANYTHING NOW…
THE SAME HAPPENED TO PETER OF THE NEW TESTAMENT…HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO HIS DESTINATION ON THE WAY TO HIS DREAM …THEN ALL OF THE SUDDEN IT HAPPENED…HE WAS IN A STORM, HE WAS NECK DEEP IN TROUBLE….THE BIBLE EVEN SAYS “HE COULD SEE THE WIND”.
The same things happen to us…. We launch into a great adventure, star o new job, take on a stretching ministry assignment, begin a family…In the initial days we are filled with hope and faith…We are out of the boat on our way to our dream and achieving something worth while with our lives…THEN REALITY SETS IN WE SEE THE WIND, WE FACE THE OBSTACLES , CONFLICT SAPS OUR SPIRIT…PLANS GO AWRY…THE ECONOMY TANKS…JUST WHEN WE THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE SMOOTH SAILING WE ARE LOOKING AT THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS.
WHAT NEXT….. WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
1. FOCUS your life around the one who can to save you.
Matthew 14:30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
Why do most people FAIL? Not because of a lack of FRIENDS, or a lack of FINANCES …but most people fail because of a lack of FOCUS..
How do you kill a man with a great DREAM ? …..give him another one!
Soon he will be DIVERTED …DILUTED AND DISCOURAGED RIGHT OUT OF HIS DREAM …
2. Break free from WRONG PEOPLE
And when He had sent the multitudes away, Matthew 14:23
And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Matthew 14:26-28
If God wants to bring blessing into your life he will send a person
If the devil wants to bring destruction into your life he will send a person …ALWAYS!
“Continue to do the right things and eventually THE wrong things and THE wrong people will eventually leave your life” – David Blunt
Rick Warren writes, “when people leave you, don’t try to get them back into your life….it is probably God saving you from something.”
3. Don’t let PAST mistakes keep you from your PRESENT possibilities.
Isn’t it funny that life is understood by looking backwards but must be lived looking forward.
But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Matthew 14:30 – 32
Focus your life – Break free from wrong people – Don’t let your short term problems shorten the length of your vision.
Reach out to God, he will pull you up and over and even out of your problems.
Lead pastor – Prescott First Assembly