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Apr 12th, 2009 by Other | 2

BELIZE Journal March 2009    by George C. Ferrar

DARING TO LIVE ON THE EDGE. The book you’ve put off reading may hold the key to your future. One such book for me is Daring to Live on the Edge by Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With A Mission (YWAM). About nine years ago I picked this book up. It told story after story of missionaries who relied on miracles for their next meal or next ride or next hotel room or next property payment. I put the book back down. I didn’t want to live that way. God got me out of deep debt when I got saved, and I never wanted to get near the edge of debt again.

Since 1997 when I started this mission, no one ever assured me that I’d have enough funding for it. In fact my biggest contributor said he’d help only if I wouldn’t consider him as my source. Yet by God’s grace I’ve always managed to keep at least a few thousand dollars in both the mission and  personal bank accounts—until just recently. In September 2008—even before the famous October 3 “bailout bill”—I asked two supporters for small bailouts to pay for extra Schoolhouse roofing costs last summer. The costs had gone “through the roof” due to inflation and underestimation by two contractors. I thought this was a temporary shortfall, but I was wrong.

At the same time, I wrote in the Belize Journal that the era of the lukewarm Laodicean church, which relied more on wealth than on God, is ending. The new church “will not live on wealth, but on unprecedented faith.” Now it’s time to pay attention to my own words! Both mission and personal bank accounts have bottomed out and I’m living on the edge—by force, not by choice. I’m guessing that in the current world financial crisis, many of you suddenly find yourselves on the edge too.

Being out of money does not mean being out of God’s will. In fact this mission is enjoying more favor and better prospects than ever before. New kids keep joining Children’s Church and Youth Church. A new Thursday after-school meeting at our Schoolhouse is filling up with cooperative and eager eighth graders every week. They even helped to paint the Schoolhouse last weekend! Now that we have a permanent licence, our future high school students and their parents speak often of  their high expectations for our mission high school. Even  heaven shows signs of favor. Last month a bright moon in a perfect circle of clouds passed over our Schoolhouse while we met there with parents. Two weeks ago at the Schoolhouse I saw a  motionless fireball burning in the night sky, far bigger than any star. An angel is watching over us, I believe, and heaven is open for business. Heaven is our ultimate source.

Meanwhile, many earthly businesses are going out of business. We are witnessing worldwide upheaval. Bush’s presidency was mainly about a new war. We may disagree on how to fight militant Islam, but fight it we must. Obama’s presidency will be about a new economy. God has listened to the call for “change” that elected Obama. However, it will not be change on Obama’s rather unspecific terms, but on God’s terms. On his first day as president, Obama quoted God saying, “We must leave childish things behind.” The view from the White House is different than the view from the campaign trail. And the view from heaven is vastly different than either.

HOT LINE TO GOD. “We need  to realize that the lack of money is just as definitely from God as the provision of money”—Loren Cunningham, Daring to Live on the Edge. Loren tells how, during a long famine, God provided for Elijah at the Brook Kerith. But then the brook dried up. How would Elijah survive? Elijah stayed alive the same way we must learn to live—by keeping a HOT line to God. Elijah had to Hear, Obey and Trust the Lord. It wasn’t easy. There was no need to hear from God when the ravens served him beakfuls of meat every day. But his source dried up, forcing Elijah to start listening again. God told him to go (1) to an unlikely place—a land ruled by his arch-enemy Jezebel’s family, and (2) to an unlikely person—a starving widow, (3) for an  unlikely provision—flour and oil from jars that never emptied, no matter how much they poured out.

Elijah heard, obeyed and trusted God enough to ask this dying woman with a dying son to feed him. She heard, obeyed and trusted God enough to serve this oddball stranger before she dropped dead. Together they thrived better than King Ahab. When the Lord does the most unlikely things, it shows that He is most likely God. 

Elijah is a great example of living by faith in God. The less you have, the more you rely on God for your needs. “Has not God chosen the poor in the eyes of this world to be rich in faith?” (James 2:5). If you’re poor in finances but rich in faith, God can give you more than those with big bank accounts —as long as you stay dependent on Him and use His finances for His kingdom.

RICHES BY FAITH. I know it’s radical, but it’s biblical:
“Do not store up for youselves treasures on earth…But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven
…You cannot serve both God and Money…Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow or reap or store away in barns [read bank accounts],and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? [The ravens who fed Elijah had more faith than most Israelites!]
…But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” (Mt. 6:19,20,24,26,33,34).

Do you realize this means that we aren’t to work for money, but for the kingdom of God? Since this mission has always had a surplus in its bank account, I’ve spent mission money as God has led me, trusting Him to sustain the surplus. Whenever we needed more than we had in the surplus, I’d tell my supporters, and wait for the amount to come in.

MULTIPLYING BREAD AND FISHES. By degrees, I was starting to trust more in our surplus and supporters than in God. God is bigger than either. He can supply in all kinds of ways. Listen to what He’s done for YWAMers who were poor in finances but rich in faith:
—In the Philippines, God told a YWAMer to go to the post office though he didn’t have the peso he needed to mail his parents a letter. On the way on a lonely road, the wind blew a one-peso note his way!
—On same the day YWAM Pasadena owed $5200 in accounts payable, a check for $5200 arrived!
—God led YWAM to move into a castle in Germany and promise an initial payment of $31,000 in ten days. Within seven days, the $31,000 arrived from various sources!
—In Greece, during a time of scarcity, 8301 fish mysteriously jumped onto the beach in front of the lodging of 175 YWAMers—providing them with meat for months!
—God led YWAMers to pray for the privilege of distributing 100,000 Bibles to military bases in Europe. The next day, they were offered the 100,000 Bibles left over from a Billy Graham crusade. As a result, many soldiers got saved and some became missionaries themselves!

But why me, and why now? I believe God wants me to be an example of living more by faith to parents whose kids will go to our high school. While our tuition will amount to much less than the cost of high school away from Caye Caulker, the current money crisis forces them to seek a new source too.

So I will simply ask you to ask God for divine HOT money— Hear, Obey and Trust money. Where is He telling you to give? Can you obey Him and trust Him? As the world’s financial systems sink, His HOTline will be our lifeline in the days ahead. 

                                                                                                                          Yours in Christ, George

George C. Ferrar  TREE OF LIFE MINISTRIES  www.treeoflifebelize.com


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