Any great accomplishment in life comes at a price.
Frederick Nietzsche said, "Every talent must unfold itself in fighting."
In other words, accomplishment of any vision comes with a price -- and that price is struggle.
We experience nothing worthwhile without first passing through some kind of adversity -- the adversity of opposition, the adversity of lost sleep, the adversity of financial pressure, the adversity of loneliness, the adversity of delayed gratification.
To accomplish anything in life, a price must first be paid.
To be in good health, the price is paid through exercise and diet.
To be a good a musician, the price is paid through study and rehearsal.
To be successful in business, the price is paid through long hours and sacrifice.
To relocate our church campus, the price is paid through committing ourselves to our church and it's vision.
To paraphrase Nietzsche's words: relocation (of our church campus) comes only as a result of struggle.
Paul knew that he was in the midst of a fight. He knew that in order to become the man of God he wanted to be, he must daily enter the battlefield to contend with an enemy.
He writes in Ephesians 6:12, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
It will do us good to remember that we are engaged in battle, day-in, day-out. It's not a struggle that can be seen with the human eye, but it can certainly be felt with the human spirit.
This struggle cannot be avoided; it must be confronted.
On the other side, however, victory awaits us, because we do not fight unarmed.
We carry with us the full armor of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit and the helmet of salvation.
But most of all, we carry with us the ability to face the challenge, together. Together (and with the help of the Holy Spirit) we can do great things for God.
Let's continue to stand together! Let's continue to move forward together!
General Colin Powell wrote one time: "On the speech circuit, I tell a story that goes to the heart of America's longing. ABC correspondent Sam Donaldson was interviewing a young African-American soldier in a tank platoon on the eve of the battle in Desert Storm.
Donaldson asked, "How do you think the battle will go? Are you afraid?"
"We'll do okay. We're well trained. And I'm not afraid," the GI answered, gesturing toward his buddies around him. "I'm not afraid because I'm with my family."
The other soldiers shouted, "Tell him again. He didn't hear you." The soldier repeated, "This is my family, and we'll take care of each other."
Stone church is a family and we are going to take care of each other through the process. We are going to stand - together.
Peter tells us not to be surprised at the fiery trials we face; they're part of the process of growing in Christ. Every talent must unfold itself in fighting; growth comes through struggle. Our moving our church campus comes with a continual sense of commitment and perseverance.
There are challenges to overcome.
Here's what I know: the obstacles will not disappear on their own.
Our calling it to confront it, through the power of Christ within us, until we can claim victory.
Our calling is to "put a knife between our teeth, a bandanna around our heads, and Rambo it for God."
Our calling is to stand strong, knowing that we are walking in God's will and through faith - our goal will be accomplished.
We will accomplish our goal - as we stand - together.
Will you join me today in continuing the process of relocating our church?
We shall overcome - and when we do - it's going to be fun rejoicing - together.