I keep coming back to the thought that we need to keep focusing in on what we do have and not on what we don't have.
The economy is bad, let's face it. We are starting a relocation process in the midst of financial negativity.
It can be easy to throw our hands up and give up in despair. Yet that is not what God is calling us to do.
In December 1977 the Arkansas Razorbacks, coached by Lou Holtz, were preparing to play the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl. Because of recent suspensions on the Razorback team (and the resulting dissension among players) Arkansas had become a 24 point underdog.
The negative press took its effect on the players as they prepared for the game; it was evident in the way they practiced. They were listless and unfocused, completely lacking confidence.
Holtz called the team together for a meeting. As the players sat slumped in the chairs, staring at the floor he told them: "Just because the press is writing our obituary doesn't mean that we have to die. We've read all the reasons why we can't win; I want to hear why can."
The players sat silent. Nobody offered an opinion. Holtz told them plainly, "We're not leaving this meeting until I get some answers."
Slowly the players began speaking up: Even though they had lost some key offensive players, the defense was still intact; they still had the best place-kicker in the country; they had a great quarterback, and on and on. The more the players talked about why they could win, the more their confidence soared, and the more their outlook changed.
If you're a football fan, you know what happened a few days later. The Razorbacks pulled off one of the greatest upsets in bowl history, beating Oklahoma 31-6.
Holtz said, "We won that game the moment our players focused on what we had instead of what we lacked."
Moses faced a similar situation when God called him to lead the people of Israel out of slavery. Moses' response was "What if they don't listen to me?" God's response was "What do you have?"
Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" (Exodus 4:2)
What Moses had was a rod. But it was more than a rod; it symbolized the power of God, and it was all Moses needed. That rod taught Moses not to look at what he had lacked, but look at what he had: the power of God in his life.
What do you have? Along with your talent and your determination, you can list the power of God among your assets. And needless to say, it goes at the top of the list.
What do we have at Stone Church?
A group of people who love God.
A church family who give faithfully.
A body of believers who are wanting to "move forward by faith".
A God who is all-powerful and can work miracles.
Whatever challenges we are facing — whatever seemingly insurmountable odds — remember that the key to victory is focusing on what we have, not on what we lack.