Spiritual Commitment: Level of Decision

June 8, 2016

“… the Lord will not be with you!” (Numbers 14:43)

When pilots are landing a large commercial jet they reach a point where they must commit to their landing.  They call that point of no return the LD – the “level of decision.”

God is very patient and full of mercy and grace.  However, Numbers Chapter 14 tells us there is an LD in our journeys of faith.  There is a point where we either do, or do not, commit to doing the will of God.

God will lean on us like an elephant to get us to see and do His will. He reaches a point, however, where He will let us have it our way.  When God lets us do our own thing we suffer great loss.  For starters, we forfeit the present purpose of our salvation.  We all know we are not saved by good works but we can lose the opportunity to do the works for which God has saved us (Ephesians 2:10).

When the Israelites chose not to do the will of God, Moses said: “The Lord will not be with you!”  Perhaps the saddest word in the Hebrew Old Testament is the word “Ichabod” that means “the glory has departed” and teaches that God sometimes withdraws anointing power from His people.

There is such a thing as the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God for your life and mine (Romans 12:1, 2).  The book of Numbers solemnly presents two options: after being delivered from our “Egypt” we can go around in circles for 40 years, or we can commit to doing the will of God.

Are you making a wise commitment in your spiritual LD?

Dick Woodward, 06 December 2013


God’s Workmanship

September 26, 2014

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

The founding elder of the first church I pastored was a home builder. He did excellent work. When a couple wanted him to build their home he took them to a beautiful home he had built and said to them, “By the grace of God this is my workmanship.”  Ephesians 2:20 says to all followers of Christ that our risen living Christ would like to point to each of us and say: “This is My workmanship!”

We are all a work of Christ in progress. In addition to that thought this verse states that when we came to faith and were saved by grace through the faith our Lord gave us, He created us for good works. In fact we’re told that before He saved us He already planned that we would do those works for Him.

I don’t know about you but that truth excites and inspires me greatly! We’re so selfish and self-centered that when we come to faith our focus is often on what trusting Christ to be our Savior will mean to us. Many followers of Christ have the attitude “What have You done for me lately?” The Apostle Paul had the right vision when he met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus and asked the question, “Lord, what do You want me to do for You?”

As a follower of Christ have you been asking and seeking to know what works your Lord and Savior planned for you to do when He saved you by grace?  Are you asking each day, “Lord, what do You want me to do for You?

Dick Woodward, 08 March 2010


Power and Purpose

July 5, 2014

“For… through Him… are all things…” (Romans 11:36)

The Apostle Paul concludes Romans with a profound benediction that God is the power behind all things.  This claim is preceded by his declaration that God is the Source of all things and it is followed by his announcement that the glory of God is the purpose for all things.

I resonate in a special way with the middle part of his benediction because I have been experiencing chronic fatigue since 1978.  As a bed fast quadriplegic I now have no strength of my own, so it is impossible for me to be involved in the work of God unless God is the Power behind all the work He wants me to do for Him in this world.

It is the plan of God to use the power of God in the people of God to accomplish the purposes of God according to the plan of God. The Bible is filled with stories that illustrate this proposition.  To this end we continuously read that God delights in doing extraordinary things through very ordinary people while He uses His power in them to accomplish His purposes.

Sadly, many people think God cannot use them because they are just ordinary people.  But the more ordinary we are increases the glory God receives when He works through us.  God can anoint our tool kit and our skill set when we surrender our will to His.  He can also add spiritual gifts to our lives we do not have before we bring our ordinariness to Him and lay it at His feet.

Are you willing to do that and prove that God is the power behind all things?

Dick Woodward,  12 October 2010